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Retired engineer voices his views on CCO Draft B

By David V. Stallard
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2004

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To the Commissioners:

1.0 Background

The Revised Draft (11/21/03) of the Compact Community Ordinance represents countless hours of hard work by the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners. It is a good ordinance, although it could be improved.

At the Board of Commisioners meeting of December 8, I understood:
a) The revised draft of the CCO would be on the Chatham website before Jan. 1;
b) there would be a work session on January 5 to finalize the language of the affordable-housing provision;
c) there be would a Public Hearing on the CCO on Jan. 20 ; this was set by the County Manager.

It is commendable that the Assistant County Manager put the CCO material on the County website before Christmas.

In addition to the expected Draft of 11/21/03, the website showed a greatly altered and weakened Draft of 12/18/03, which surprised the Commissioners and citizens.

2.0 Grounds to Reject the Draft of 12/18/03

I urge the Commissioners to reject the Draft of 12/18/03 at the outset of the work session on January 5 for the following reasons:

a) The Commissioners did not authorize the creation of the new draft;
b) The Commissioners did not authorize its inclusion in the agenda;
c) The Draft of 12/18/03 would benefit only the developer of a compact community, at great cost to Chatham County.

3.0 Major Deficiencies of the Draft of 12/18/03

Referring to the Table of Contents in the earlier draft of 11/21/03, the Draft of 12/18/03 has the following major deficiencies:

a) Weakened Water Provision and greatly weakened Wastewater Treatment;
b) All sections of Stormwater are weakened; Public Filing of Stormwater Documents is deleted;
c) The section on Riparian Buffers is weakened and the requirement for buffers along ephemeral (wet-weather) streams is deleted;
d) Weakened Passive Open Space section;
e) The section on Impact Assessment does not provide for a list of approved consultants and does not provide protection for Chatham;
f) The Impact Mitigation Section removes consultation with the Chatham County Manager;
g) The sections on Performance Standards, Housing and Green Building are weakened;
h) Incredibly, the sections on Enforcement and Penalties for Violation have been deleted.

The Draft of 12/18/03 provides no real protection for Chatham County, and should be rejected for that reason and the accompanying procedural irregularities.

David V. Stallard, Sc.D. is a registered professional engineer, retired

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Retired engineer voices his views on CCO Draft B

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