Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said that if the office is having to rule on this issue practically every week, the rule needs to be changed instead of allowing the exception.

A proposal submitted by Road and Bridge Administrator Lee Schuman, P.E., to the Camden County Commission could clear up valuable time for both departments as officials look to cut down on wasted resources.

For the past couple of years, almost once a week and sometimes more, Schuman has brought road impact no-fee waivers to the commission for approval. The county policy states that if no county-maintained roads are used while trucking materials or for construction purposes, the impact fee for road maintenance can be waived.

The meetings usually only last a couple of minutes with Schuman outlining the proposal and the commission unanimously voting for its approval. Schuman has now proposed updating the ordinance to clearly indicate that if no county-maintained roads are being accessed, the fee is automatically waived and will not need to be brought to the commission for approval. It would instead be an administrative function.

The only cases that would be brought to the commission for approval would be designated exceptions to the ordinance.

“If it states in the ordinance it’s waived then we’ve already stated so, it doesn’t need to come to us,” First District Commissioner Bev Thomas said. “That way they only need to come to us for exceptions, for something that doesn’t fit (the ordinance).”

Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said that if the office is having to rule on this issue practically every week, the rule needs to be changed instead of allowing the exception.

“What it becomes is here’s the ordinance, this meets the criteria, the fee is waived,” Hasty said. “If it’s not specially listed then it will come to us. We’re basically doing them every week, very routine. We could be a lot more efficient and rule on it one time instead of ruling on it every week.”

Schuman said that would work well for him personally and would free up more time to work on county road projects.

“It works really well for me, because we have two or three of these a week,” Schuman said. “I spend 45 minutes talking to you guys instead of doing something else.”

Second District Commissioner Don Williams also supported the proposal, stating the measure would “save us all a lot of meaningless work.”

“I like that kind of stuff,” Williams said. “Let’s get more efficient.”

Schuman also proposed additional changes to cover situations not currently outlined in the ordinance. Some of the zoning districts were not included in the ordinance, including industrial and agriculture, and the ordinance also fails to distinguish between different sized residential units. Schuman has proposed using a cents per square foot method.

“The way they do it is in ranges and I’d like to actually get it down to a cents per square foot. That way if somebody is building a 400-square foot building it’s not assessed the same as something that’s 800-square feet, because the changes are pretty broad,” Schuman said. “And that’s only R-1 single family residential, then you could go to R-2, R-3 they’re zoned and assessed per unit. There’s 2,400-square foot condos, but there’s also 500-square foot condos, and right now those are assessed the same because it’s per unit.”

Hasty said he thought the recommendations made by Schuman were “certainly worthwhile” and “very practical changes.”

The commission unanimously voted to submit the policy recommendation to county attorney Charlie McElyea to be written in the form of an amendment to the current ordinance on road development charges. The commission will then need to vote on the drafted amendment to officially add it to the ordinance.