Harris County commissioners vote on new unified development code

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:29 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It’s back to the drawing board for a controversial proposed land ordinance in Harris County. Commissioners voted it down last week but in a surprise twist, it is on the table again.

On Aug. 2, Harris County residents filled the room to express to the board of commissioners exactly how they felt about the proposed unified development code.

A vote of 3-2 was made, and it was with a clear understanding that it would be left alone. After the agenda was posted to the web with a line that stated general discussion regarding the UDC, it raised concern for some residents of Harris County.

“I do think it’s necessary to talk about it. I asked them one of the things that I asked is that they wait not to do anything right now not approve it so the discussion is fine but next year could be fine not right away,” said Mark Lawrence, pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church.

It was brought to the county manager that some of the commissioners wanted to bring the UDC back up. A meeting for Aug. 9 was already scheduled, and the county manager was able to add it to the agenda.

Allowing the commissioners to vote on whether or not they will start the process over again or add changes to the current UDC.

“So it has to go through a series of legal processes, and the board wanted some members of the board wanted that timeline on the process it would take for this document to go through the legal process, I believe, for the third or fourth time,” said County Manager Randy Dowling.

News Leader 9 spoke with Susan Andrews, Board of Commissioner for District 5 who voted for the new UDC proposal, and she says after spending a very large sum of money on getting the new UDC ready and only having a few disagreements with the new proposal it shouldn’t it go to waste.

“Why would we throw away all the things we’ve gone through, all the things we’ve heard from citizens prior to that public meeting and just throw it all away so we have reconsidered and we want to listen to what they said meet again talk again see if there’s some things we can change that we don’t throw away this whole two years worth of work,” Andrews added.

The next meeting will be held at the Harris County library at 4:30 p.m. It is open to the public, but people will not be able to comment at this meeting.

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