Dagsboro installs planning commission

Dagsboro Town Council packed several years’ worth of new development projects into the summer and fall of 2005 — the town may never see another season like it again.

Meeting agendas were getting so overloaded with presentations from developers that Town Clerk Stacey Long finally recommended some limits this summer (two new presentations, plus reconsideration of two projects midway through the process, at a maximum).

To date, council has been carrying that workload, and considering numerous amendments to zoning code, without the benefit of a functional Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission. The commission dealt strictly with matters related to the town’s Comprehensive Plan — it didn’t review new developments, or comment on/recommend changes to zoning code.

P&Z Chair William Chandler started pushing for a more active role for the commission earlier this summer. Residents had begun to critique council from both directions, suggesting: (1) they were too accommodating of developers, and (2) their approval process was too muddled, sending developers back to the drawing board with little advanced directive.

With a reenergized citizenry standing ready to help, council members moved to both enlarge and repopulate a P&Z.

And as of the Nov. 28 council meeting, they’ve done that.

The commission will now consist of nine members. Terms now run five years, but council staggered them somewhat in appointing the new commission members.

Chandler will continue to participate, as will Clay Hall (who’s retiring from his position on council after this week’s election). Their terms don’t expire until 2012 (prior to the recent changes, terms ran 10 years).

The new commission members and their term expiration dates are:

• Herb Disharoon (2006);

• Marjorie Eckerd (2010);

• Terry Hearn (2010);

• Ed Howe (2009);

• Margaret Morris (2008); and

• Norwood Truitt (2010).

Janice Kolbeck will act as the ninth commission member, and as secretary for the P&Z. She will have voting powers only when no quorum is present (in this case, a minimum of five commission members, or four plus Kolbeck).

The commission members will be meeting to organize themselves, and decide on regular meeting dates, within the month.