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The Lake News Online
  • County Commission open to discussing Article 600

  • Revisions to the Camden County Unified Land Use Code could be up for discussion if enough residents of the district speak up.
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  • Revisions to the Camden County Unified Land Use Code could be up for discussion if enough residents of the district speak up.
    Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken said he is willing to bring the Article 600 revisions back before the county commission if there is enough positive support to warrant the move.
    Franken's comment is on the heels of the Camden County Commission's recent vote to table the revisions.
    "First, I would like to try to clear up a misconception. Article 600 is not new to the Unified Land Use Code (ULC). It has been in the code since its original adoption,” he said.
    "Article 600 currently carries a $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail as penalty for failure to comply with the code, and has no provision for hearing before the county commission, nor does it provide a structure for fines being able to match the severity of the violation," Franken said. "The proposed revised version adds additional periods for notification of violations, and a hearing before the County Commission."
    Franken said other revisions discussed at the county commission level included the removal of jail time as a penalty and a staggered fine structure where the amount of the fine reflects the severity of the violation.
    Prior to the public hearing that was held at the planning commission level regarding Article 600 on Feb. 20, there was conversation at the county commission level regarding concerns with some of the items that were in the proposed draft, he said.
    According to Franken, he along with Commissioners Beverly Thomas and Cliff Luber were involved in those discussions. Based on comments that were made, he said he took it upon himself to integrate those concerns into a draft modification for Article 600 which he intended to present to Thomas and Luber once the planning commission had passed it.
    At the February hearing, Franken said, 15 people testified against the revisions to Article 600. Of those 15, 20% either did not live in the district, or had multiple people from the same household speaking.
    The following month (March 2013), the planning commission voted to move Article 600 to the county commission without revision. Because of the negative testimony that was given at the planning commission level, Franken said the willingness to negotiate an amicable revision to Article 600 at the county commission level disappeared and the issue was tabled.
    Audio discussions of the March 28 commission meeting can be heard at www,camdenmo.org.
    "While the draft that I have prepared as a compromise, based on input, is not complete, it is very close. However, in my opinion, it would not be appropriate to bring this off of the table without a call to do so from the people of the county," Franken said. "That being said, if you have an opinion on this issue, whether it be for or against, and you live in the planning and zoning district, please write or email the county commission. If I receive enough positive input, I will put it on the agenda, bring it back up for discussion, and attempt to achieve a revised version of Article 600 for inclusion in the ULC."
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