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Grayson supervisors consider zoning amendment

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County officials hear concerns about rights of way.

By Patrick Smith

INDEPENDENCE — Supervisor David Sexton voiced concerns about Grayson County’s zoning ordinance during the board’s July 11 meeting.
Specifically, Sexton questioned article 4.6, which sets the required 40-foot right-of-way for a principal structure.
Sexton raised questions about the code due to comments and concerns he had received from citizens.
“We have property in Grayson County that doesn’t have the 40-foot right-of-way that is specified in the zoning ordinance,” Sexton explained. “The issue the citizens are having is that if they have a 20-foot right-of-way or a 30-foot right-of-way, they’re not allowed to build a single dwelling” because the zoning ordinance concerns developments, but doesn’t take into account single dwellings.
“In a lot of the citizens’ opinion, and mine as well, if you own a parcel of land as large as 160 acres, as one gentleman stated, with only a 20-foot right-of-way, you should be able to build a house on that land without zoning dictating it,” he continued. “I think we have a little bit more government involved in people’s private business than we should have.”
Sexton asked that the board consider revising the article of the zoning code pertaining to right-of-way to include single-dwelling homes. He explained that he was referring to a property in which parts of the land could be divided and sold to other individuals.
Elaine Holeton of the Grayson County Planning Commission, who was present at the meeting, clarified that the county’s zoning code does, in fact, allow property owners to build a primary structure with a right-of-way less than 40-feet, as long as they were listed on tax records prior to the creation of the zoning ordinance in 1998. However, properties created after that time require the 40-foot right-of-way or frontage on a state road.
County Administrator Jonathan Sweet suggested the request be reviewed by the planning commission to determine an “end goal” to remedy the problem. Then, the county could hold a public hearing before moving forward.
Sweet pointed out that the ordinance is in place due to accessibility issues for emergency vehicles. He also explained that the right-of-way for a principal structure was established so as not to hinder future development.
Holeton agreed with Sweet that properties should especially consider the right-of-way guidelines for the sake of accessibility for emergency vehicles and expansion, as well as to avoid disputes between neighbors.
After a lengthy discussion, Sexton made a motion to request that the planning commission review the ordinance and later make a recommendation to the board about possible revisions to article 4.6 of the zoning ordinance.
Holeton said she and the planning commission will look into the issue and make the recommendation during a board meeting at a later date.

Maynard Remembered
Supervisors and several citizens in attendance July 11 remembered deceased Chairman Mike Maynard, who died of a stroke since the board last met, by observing a special moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting.
His chair was vacant and his nameplate remained in place for the meeting.
Assistant County Administrator Mitch Smith said the board decided not to take action on selecting a new chairman or appointing a temporary replacement on the board this month out of respect for the Maynard family. He added that Vice Chairman Kenneth Belton will head the meetings for the time being, as he did July 11.
A November election will decide Maynard’s official replacement for the Wilson District seat. Candidates are Republican Glen “Eddie” Rosenbaum, Democrat Kate Irwin and recently announced third candidate, Arnold Peters, who will run as an independent.