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The Lake News Online
  • Camden County P&Z map switcheroo a mystery

  • An unexplained difference in planning and zoning maps is being called into question by one Camden County Commissioner.

    It appears that the map designating the district that was used for the election in 1997 was changed at some point.
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    • How we got here:
      • Planning and zoning was voted into existence in 1997. In that election, 19 precincts were included in the original map which was voted on. A total of 12,391 registered voters were in that a...
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      How we got here:
      • Planning and zoning was voted into existence in 1997. In that election, 19 precincts were included in the original map which was voted on. A total of 12,391 registered voters were in that area, but only 2,996 actually cast ballots.

      • Of the ballots cast, 1,499 voted yes and 1,457 voted no.

      • Planning and zoning passed by a margin of 42 votes.

      • Immediately following the election, the election was challenged in Camden County Circuit Court. Eventually the case was decided in favor of the county.

      • In 2004, after major revisions to the original master plan, planning and zoning was implemented in Camden County.
  • An unexplained difference in planning and zoning maps is being called into question by one Camden County Commissioner.
    It appears that the map designating the district that was used for the election in 1997 was changed at some point. 
     It is not the same map used for public hearings in 2004 and since for planning and zoning purposes.
    Who changed the map and why is a question Commissioner Cliff Luber wants answered. 
    The map issue came up unexpectedly during the commission meeting on Thursday, May 16. Although three unrelated planning and zoning cases were on the agenda, there was nothing listed pertaining to the maps. The map issue was brought up during the meeting by Camden County Planning and Zoning Administrator Don Hathaway.
    Luber said the current map that was used in 2004 for planning and zoning purposes and is still used now almost ten years later has six additional parcels of land. Those six parcels were not included in the map used when the planning and zoning district was voted on.
    According to Luber, he learned of the discrepancies only after hearing about the differences at the courthouse.
    The discrepancy, Luber said, was discovered by Hathaway who turned his findings over to the Camden County Clerk Rowland Todd.
    "When voters approved planning and zoning it only passed by 42 votes. Now you have six sections that are on the Master Plan map, but not on the original map. This raises a number of serious questions. Did these folks even get to vote on the planning and zoning ballot issue? It is unclear which map is wrong," Luber said. "After I learned of this I went to the planning and zoning department and they confirmed it was true. I was then advised several times that this cannot be made public until they find out what to do.  The planning and zoning administrator did not bring this serious matter to Commissioner Beverly Thomas, or myself but only to [Presiding Commissioner Kris] Franken. If the master plan map is in fact wrong, five of the six sections are in my district and I wasn't even notified by the administrator or Franken."
    Hathaway told commissioners that Todd is currently comparing a list of voters who voted on planning and zoning to a list of registered voters in the six parcel areas. If it is discovered that the residents in those areas did not get to vote on planning and zoning, those residents will be contacted and the map could be changed at that time.
    Since most of the county officials were not in office at the time of the vote and implementation of planning and zoning, answers are hard to come by.
    Page 2 of 2 - "None of us know," Hathaway said."We don't have all the answers and it will take some time."
    Franken was on vacation and was unavailable for comment.
     
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