Proposed code revisions to the Camden County Unified Land Use Code are moving forward according to Tanna Wirtz, Camden County Planning & Zoning Administrator.

Proposed code revisions to the Camden County Unified Land Use Code are moving forward according to Tanna Wirtz, Camden County Planning & Zoning Administrator. In an interview, Wirtz stated, “the pertinent and critical parts of the proposed revisions will be brought forth by the end of this year. The document is currently undergoing staff and legal review in preparation for the next step in the process which is public hearings.”

Consensus is more difficult because of the numerous stakeholders at the lake. These include regulatory agencies responsible for flood control, permitting at the waterline, life safety issues, as well as the competing interests and rights of neighboring property owners. According to Wirtz, she attaches great importance to letting everyone be heard as the revised plan moves through public hearings and on toward adoption.

In older urban areas, land use has been guided for decades through the use of formal plans. More rural areas that experience rapid growth must negotiate the process of overlaying a structured set of regulations onto existing usage patterns. These patterns have grown up and changed over the years. Sometimes the patterns seem inexplicable, mere reactions of convenience to a given circumstance and lacking any semblance of consistency throughout the district.

At the heart of a formal land-use plan are the concepts of fairness and consistency. Existing property owners, future property owners, and developers will all operate under the same set of rules protecting investments and ensuring a smooth, orderly, and reasonable process in new development as well as fair resolution to disputes arising around zoning issues. A formal plan allows the governing body to avoid making decisions in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The time required to revise the existing plan is an investment in the future of the lake.