The potential need for better county planning will come before the Jackson County Commissioners this month, including the possible need for a planning commission.
The Commission would make sure proper infrastructure is in place before projects move forward. Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady said the conversation started as people began buying up large acre tracks and then subdividing them for sale. In some cases, the construction of roads did not meet county standards.
“That’s really important, if you didn’t build it to county specks the county can not take it over as a county road,” Heady said. “And so when people start buying that the first thing that they’re going to do when there comes a big rain and it washes out and gets ruts in it, or the gravel sinks in, they’re going to come to the county and say ‘hey I need you to come fix my road.’ Well, we can’t, because it’s not a county road.”
Heady said the county wants the new residential development, but the proper infrastructure is key. Heady said a planning commission would not be involved in any type of zoning.
“We’re just trying to see if that’s a step we need to take,” Heady said. “Don’t know that it is, but we’re at least going to look at the option, hear it out, and then try to determine if that’s the next best move for us.”
Heady said he’s not advocating for or against a potential planning committee, but thinks it’s an important conversation.
“We’re just trying to look out for residents we have,” Heady said. “But, not just for the ones we have but the ones we may have in the future.”
Heady said specifications required by county roads include proper water infrastructure for rainy weather. Heady said county land tracks being bought up have regularly been 10-15 acres at a time. Heady said that tracks being bought have even occasionally been as many as 50 acres.