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Bertie approves subdivision ordinance

WINDSOR – It’s official….well, not quite.

At their meeting here Monday night, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners stood united behind a proposed countywide subdivision ordinance, approving the measure that has been in the planning stages for over two years.

However, the ordinance – which passed unanimously after two required readings and the opportunity for public comment – will not take effect until Sept. 1. The delay has to do with the fact that the Commissioners, as required by the wording of the 68-page document, must first appoint a Planning Board.

Norman Cherry Sr., Vice-Chairman of the Commissioners, made the motion to adopt the ordinance and have it immediately put into effect. Jasper Bazemore seconded the motion and the measure passed without objection.

However, Lloyd Smith, attorney for the board, pointed out the Commissioners must first establish a Planning Board and appoint its members. A subdivision official must also be appointed, one in lieu of a County Planner, a position not expected to be filled until at least Sept. 1.

Cherry amended his motion, changing the effective date to Sept. 1. The amended motion passed unanimously.

Board Chairman Rick Harrell then instructed County Manager Zee Lamb to provide each Commissioner with the requirements of Planning Board and its membership.

&uot;This is a very important board we need to appoint and I feel we should fully understand the requirements pertaining to the jobs they will perform,&uot; Harrell said.

The Planning Board, required to meet monthly will be comprised of 11 members, eight of which will be designated by township with the remaining three appointed at-large. Each will be appointed to a three-year term and will be eligible for reappointment for one additional term.

Planning Board members act only in advisory roles for the Board of Commissioners, first ensuring all guidelines of the subdivision ordinance have been followed prior to passing along its recommendations to the Commissioners.

The purpose of the ordinance is to establish and guide the legal subdivision of land in Bertie County. Its wording will govern each and every subdivision of land within the county, with the exception of municipal jurisdiction. However, the ordinance does allow each municipality in the county to formally request, by resolution, for the county to administer the ordinance within those jurisdictions.

The ordinance deals with legal issues such as plat approval, land use plans, lot sizes, easements, streets, cul-de-sacs, driveways, sidewalks, signage, curb-and-gutter, culverts, right-of-way, setbacks, storm water management, drainage, water supplies, design and construction, sewage disposal, street lighting and variances.