Alva Review-Courier -

Three appointed to land use committee

• To study and update zoning ordinances


November 30, 2018

Zoning regulates the size and type of structures allowed to be built in specified areas as well as the occupancy. The City of Alva is taking a look at laws regulating the use of land in the city limits. Over the years, a number of exceptions to the ordinances have been granted. With the number of exception requests growing, the Alva City Council decided it was time to update current ordinances.

The process was begun through the Alva Planning Commission who consulted Crafton Tull, a firm that assists entities in planning. After that consultation, the commission recommended a ten member committee be formed to study strategic land use in Alva. The city council approved that recommendation during their Nov. 19 meeting.

Monday night, the planning commission appointed three of their members to serve on the committee. Three more will be appointed from the city council, and the remaining four will be from citizens at large with two appointed by the planning commission and two by the city council.

Committee Appointments

Alva Mayor Kelly Parker attended the planning commission meeting. He said the committee should not have a quorum (or majority) of members from either the commission or the council. This means Mary Hamilton, who is a member of both, cannot be appointed by the council. Since the planning commission has six members, if three others were appointed and Hamilton was appointed by the council, the four would form a quorum of the commission.

On the other hand, if Hamilton was appointed as one of three commission members on the committee, there would be no planning commission quorum. Having four members of the city council on the committee is not a problem since it takes five to make a quorum of that eight member body.

Commission member Meagan Caldwell said Charles Murrow, who was not present, should be on the committee due to his expertise in real estate sales. Hamilton was suggested as another member. Matt Adair made a motion nominating Mary Hamilton, Charles Murrow and Christy Kornele (commission chair) to the committee. Bryant Gingrich seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

The two at large members will be appointed at a later date, possibly in a special meeting. Since the planning commission meets on the fourth Monday of each month, the December meeting falls on Christmas Eve. They’re not sure they’ll have a quorum for that date.

Mayor Parker said he’s making a list of possible at large members for city council appointment which he hopes to have ready for the December meeting. Parker said he’d like to have representation from a diverse section of the population.

The strategic land use committee will continue to consult with Mark Seibold of Crafton Tull as they work on updating the ordinances.

Examining Permits

The planning commission will also be reviewing certain permit applications with exceptions starting in January. New Alva City Inspector Derrick Courson showed the commission members some samples of how he will present these reports.

Alva Business Manager Joe Don Dunham said that if the commission approves a permit unanimously, it will be considered as consent for the applicant to proceed. However, a split vote or a vote that denies an application will automatically send that application to the city council for review.


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