Takes issue with coverage

Published 7:41 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

I take issue with last week’s Smithfield Times story on Pierceville.

We petitioners are against the proposed Pierceville rezoning have argued repeatedly that the Cary-and-Main Subdivision proposal is either (a) a subdivision proposal for 151 track homes plus the Pierce Home; or (b) a “Major Site Plan” as defined in Article 11/Rezoning.

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Either way, the Town is incorrect in its assertion that the Town Council has final authority in all matters to do with rezoning. Clearly, Town Code and both ordinances convey substantially more executive authority to the Planning Commission.

We also question the 12-step “process” as published on Page 7 of last week’s Smithfield Times. The steps published are selective, and Step 5 is not in any Article of either applicable Ordinance or Town Code. The correct legal process in my view is stipulated in Article 5 of the Subdivision Ordinance.

1. All subdivision design criteria and construction standards shall be in accordance with this ordinance and the Town’s Design and Construction Standards Manual, as may be amended.

2. All applicants for subdivision approval in the Town of Smithfield must complete five (5) major steps in the approval process:

a. Subdivision Planning Conference with the Planning and Zoning Administrator and Subdivision/Plan Review Committee;

b. Preliminary Subdivision Plat Approval by the Planning Commission;

c. Final Subdivision Plat Approval by the Planning Commission;

d. Public Improvements Plan Approval by the Planning Commission; and

e. Subdivision Bond and Subdivision Agreement Approval and Acceptance by Town Council.

Various Town Council and Planning Board members have suggested direct communications; we agree and attest the process is two-way. Some Council Members have been in communications for several weeks with petitioners, and we welcome a frank, honest exchange of opinions and ideas.

We will not tolerate the perception that our public discourse with regard to the Cary-and-Main Subdivision proposal is being ignored and what we have to say about developing the property correctly doesn’t matter in the eyes of many of our elected and appointed officials.

Dennis M. Arinello