Following a lengthy public hearing Tuesday afternoon on the Madison County Growth Policy Update, the Madison County Board of Commissioners took no action on the matter in the hope of reviewing comments from the public and making possible word changes to the document before meeting again no later than the end of February.
Commissioner Jim Hart said that the people who opposed the growth policy update were concerned about certain words that should at least be reviewed and possibly changed.
“Those who voiced their opposition to the Growth Policy were concerned about future regulatory action, even though they heard the comment that the growth policy has no authority, per se,” said Hart. “Those who spoke in favor of it mostly commented on the fact that we have a growth policy right now that’s been in place for 40 years, and the few changes that were recommended by the Board would not alter that 40 year history.”
During a meeting on Monday evening the Planning Board reviewed and discussed a summary of all the correspondence to the Madison County Commissioners related to the Growth Policy Update. Planning Director Charity Fechter said she felt that there is a basic misunderstanding of what the growth policy is, emphasizing that it is not intended to be a regulatory document but rather to provide more effective guidance for local decisions on growth, development and conservation over the next 5 to 10 years.
Hart added that the Growth Policy Update is important for local communities in planning for future growth in Madison County because it is necessary to exercise a degree of common sense with input from the public when doing so.