Gov't

Six Month Moratorium on Zoning of “Bars” Recommended by Planning & Zoning

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By Dave Freneaux

The Planning & Zoning Commission held its regular meeting on Thursday, June 24th.  After the commission recommended approval to rezone a property on Hooper Road for the opening of a real estate office, there were two items of exceptional interest which occurred at this meeting.

First, Counciman Moak introduced a resolution placing a six month moratorium on any applications for C-AB-2 zoning, which is the classification for an establishment serving alcohol with no requirement to serve food.  Mr. Moak's resolution calls for a committee to study the issue and determine exactly what the City of Central wants to do with this concept as a whole rather than having a philosophical discussion about alcohol each time a rezoning request is made.  Since there are currently no cases before the City concerning C-AB-2 Mr. Moak felt this was the correct time to decide the issue.  By a 6 to 1 vote the commission approved the matter to go to full City Council for consideration.  Mr. Giles cast a no vote, citing that the concept of a "moratorium" is a red flag for developers considering investing in Central.  Mr. Giles has no objection to the study but is concerned about the halting of progress in economic development that accompanies a moratorium.

The other item of significant interest was the attendance for this meeting.  There were eighteen people in the room, nine members of commissions, three employees of the City or City Services, four who were presenting their cases for consideration, the owner of the meeting hall and a representative of CentralSpeaks.com.  There were no citizens of Central in attendance who were not otherwise obligated to be there.

The agenda, including the addition of the C-AB-2 moratorium discussion, has been posted on the City website for approximately 10 days, and has been available at City Hall as well.  The City has been sending the agendas to CentralSpeaks.com as a courtesy and has now agreed to send revisions as well, and CentralSpeaks.com will be printing these as they become available.  However, it is the primary duty of the citizens of Central to make the effort to stay informed and even to attend these meetings if the citizens want to retain the right to give input on these issues prior to them being acted on by our elected and appointed officials.  Central's form of government is NOT a pure democracy, it is a representative republic.  The opportunity to actually vote on any issue is given to the people elected every four years.  The opportunity for citizens to be heard on any issue is given at every public meeting.  It is perfectly acceptable for Central's citizens to trust the elected and appointed officials to make decisions without public input, as long as everyone recognizes that the people have then tacetly approved those decisions by their silence.

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