Seat open on city planning commission

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lewisburg Mayor Barbara Woods is faced with the task of finding a successor for a man who's resigned from the Planning Commission after nearly 10 years of service.

Bill Holly, 80, of Midway Street resigned because of his health, he said Wednesday during a brief telephone interview. He's getting dialysis treatments because of kidney failure.

Holly's term on the commission expires on June 1 next year. The term of service for the next appointee would be nearly eight months. Thereafter, to continue to serve, Holly's successor would have to be reappointed.

City planning commissions usually meet monthly to consider requests for land-use rezoning and then forward a recommendation to the City Council. The commissioners also consider plats, construction site plans development plans, and approve them or disapprove them. Approval precedes the issuance of a construction permit.

"I'd like to think about it carefully," the mayor said of who might be appointed to succeed Holly. "I'll try to have someone before the next Planning Commission meeting."

Woods plans to speak with other members of the Planning Commission before asking a prospective member if they would serve.

"I don't have to follow what they say, but I like to hear their input and that of others," she said.

The mayor can appoint someone to the board "at any time," City Manager Eddie Fuller said.

Holly was reappointed to the commission in February 2007. He was first appointed in April 1999. His resignation was filed at City Hall on Monday. It was effective that day.

Also during the monthly meeting on Tuesday, Councilman Robin Minor seconded Planning Commissioner Bill Marsh's motion to rezone the old Dairymen's building, also known as the Tuscarora plant, that was purchased in July last year by Steve and Vicki Cain.

The property is zoned for an industrial use and will be eligible for commercial uses if the City Council agrees when it receives the commission's unanimous recommendation.

The Cains sought rezoning that would have allowed development of a trash transfer station, but nearby residents objected and last month planning commissioners denied the rezoning needed for that land use.

Noting the rezoning request from an industrial classification to a commercial zone "is really stepping it down," Planning Commission Chairman Jim Bingham said.

Several area residents have written to city officials about the property and the commission's action on Aug. 18, Bingham said. Those residents also said they could support this second rezoning request.

The zoning classification is known as creating an Intermediate Commercial area and Fuller said that includes almost anything that's already on land adjoining the Ellington Parkway bypass. That includes restaurants, business offices and retail stores.