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On planning and zoning

I used to live not far from where this development is going in Smithfield. The neighboring town of Smithfield has approved a lot of development just within the past couple of weeks. I am personally not a fan of how close that developers are building houses to one another in some of their newer subdivisions. When you can literally reach out of your bedroom window and touch hands with your neighbor doing the same, that is way too close to the next house for my taste. But there is a fire safety component to my thought process as well, in protecting the neighboring exposures, but that is my fire protection background talking there.

We are going to face the decisions that Smithfield is facing soon, just as Clayton did before Smithfield as population and development growth move this way.

Serving on the Planning Board, we have had the discussion on granting variances to the Unified Development Ordinance. If you are going to constantly grant variances to an ordinance, why bother having it to begin with? Why are they ordinances rather than suggestions? Adjust your UDO to accommodate the scenarios you are encountering, eliminate the ordinances, or enforce them as written. Don’t waste the effort of a Planning Board, Planning Director, town personnel, permitting, and Town Council if you are going to be in constant flux.


Published by troylaplante

I am a happily married guy living in Selma, North Carolina with my wife and three boys. I have a background in radio broadcasting, fire protection, and some technical/computer experience. I currently am employed as a Senior Engineering Specialist at one of the world's largest media and entertainment companies (company policy is that I should not mention the name). I have been a newspaper columnist, blogger, podcaster, and a TV and radio talk show host. I still occasionally get to do voice-overs for radio and television as well as video productions. I have been known to run for public office, run P.A. systems at churches, and volunteer with some scouting organizations. I have a love for God, my family, and my country, and I admit that I fall short on patience when people mess with any of those three. I have had a lifelong love/hate relationship with both politics and religion, and don't shy from having opinions on either. My hobbies include shooting, theology, and using, fixing, and enjoying fountain pens.

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