DOBSON — On Wednesday, the Surry County Planning Department will hold its final drop-in session for citizens to give input and ask questions about the county’s land use plan.
The land use plan, which guides land development in Surry County, is undergoing revisions this year. The fourth and final drop-in session for the plan will be held on Wednesday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the central permitting office building, located in the county government center complex in Dobson. Residents are welcome to stop by any time during the informal session to review the plan and give input to planning staff. The purpose is for people to tell the department what they think about the plan and if they think any changes should be made.
Kim Bates, county planning director, said the second drop-in session attracted the largest number of residents. The sessions have been informal, he said, with most people coming to talk about preservation of certain areas.
“People normally have something special they want to talk about,” Bates said of the previous meetings.
Though Wednesday marks the final drop-in session, the public is welcome to attended monthly meetings of the Surry County Planning Board. The meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Surry County Government Center. These meetings are generally somewhat informal, Bates noted. He said he will be bringing up questions about the land use plan for the members to discuss at upcoming meetings.
Any suggestions that were brought up at the drop-in sessions will be taken to the planning board for consideration. The board will then recommend an updated plan to the county commissioners for final approval. Bates hopes to have the process completed early next year.
Bates said radical changes to the plan are not likely, as citizens have not suggested any major changes. He said most refinements will consist of updating the plan with new data. Points that will likely be re-emphasized based on public input are “elements of preservation of natural resources, rural character, community appearance and tourism,” Bates said.
The Surry County Land Use Plan was first adopted in 2000 and was then updated in 2006. It is to be revised every five years. Also to be updated this year are seven small-area plans that were adopted in 2003 to guide development at major intersections in the county.
The plan is used by the planning board and the county commissioners when considering rezonings or other development decisions. Counties that have land use plans are required to address development and zoning projects’ consistency with the land use plan before making decisions. The plan also helps board members interpret aspects of the zoning ordinance that may not be clear cut.
The central permitting office, located across from the main government center building, can be found off of Hamby Road in Dobson. For more information about the drop-in session or land use plan, call the planning department at 401-8350 or visit the department’s page on the county Web site: www.co.surry.nc.us.
Contact Meghann Evans at 719-1952 or firstname.lastname@example.org.