Two Mile Zoning Boundary (cont.)


Face Palm…

I went home pretty frustrated last night.  I had shared my previous post on the Two Mile Zoning Boundary with the Town Council and Plan Commission last week.  I am also on the Steering Committee for the Plymouth Comprehensive Plan review and attended that meeting Monday evening.  (6:00 until 9:45!  Sheesh!)  The topic of the Two Mile Zoning Boundary came up and there was a lively discussion.  Yesterday I sent the following email to the Town Council and Plan Commission ahead of the Plan Commission meeting last night:

I attended last night’s Plymouth Comprehensive Plan review on behalf of MCEDC.  One of the items that Jackie Turner with Ratio Architects had in the draft plan was ceding some extra territorial control back to the County. I questioned why this would ever be considered as the extended territorial control was there to allow the municipality to control its destiny.  She replied that if Plymouth was looking at the plan as a 10 year document, then they might want to divest themselves of the burden of supervising areas that weren’t planned for annexation in the next 10 years.  I asked why a municipality would EVER want to cede control to the county and shouldn’t our vision be for 50 years, not just 10?  I then asked about problems with residential development surrounding industrial areas making expansion difficult, the problem with subdivisions just outside the territorial boundary which used services, but did not pay for them (fire, police, parks, etc.) and and the difficulties of leapfrogging areas that had been developed that resisted annexation to serve new development or other older developments that needed services. This started a rather spirited response from Plymouth departmental staff naming specific instances where this is already a problem. 
Ms. Turner agreed with my points for the most part, saying she was just giving that as an option to be considered as part of the comprehensive planning process. She said there still may be areas of no growth where Plymouth might want to consider this, but all the points I made need to be considered before making that decision.
I’m paraphrasing the discussion above, but I double checked it with Brent Martin who was also in attendance. Ralph Booker was there also. One of the big points I think Culver should take from this is that determining the extended territorial boundary is a discussion that should be had as part of the Comprehensive Planning process. There is no reason that we can’t put this off until our planning process is complete.
After sending that out yesterday, I had a meeting with the representatives from Houseal Lavigne Associates who were here doing interviews to start our Comprehensive Plan project.  I was there representing MCEDC.  As part of our discussion, I laid out the scenario of the property swaps to Devin Lavigne and he agreed with me that it probably was not appropriate to give up any control since it was so hard fought to obtain.  He also agreed that this should be part of the comprehensive planning process we were just beginning.
At the Plan Commission last night Ralph Booker, Marshall County Plan Director, presented the maps including a calculation of the acreage of the land that was swapped.  Ralph Winters, Plan Commission Chairman, called for a vote without audience input and it was passed without discussion.  My arguments were not mentioned.  Our new planners, sitting in the audience, were not consulted.  Opportunity missed.  Do you like the Face Palm GIF?  That was me last night!
Passing this last night puts it in front of the Town Council for approval.  I’m not sure when that will happen or whether the Town Council will buck the Plan Commission on this again.

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