The cat's out of the bag.
The Warren County Commissioners on Wednesday gave a peek into their looming decision to allow Farmington Township to leave the Warren County Zoning Ordinance.
After a brief discussion on the proposed amendment, the item was added to the end of Wednesday's agenda and the commissioners eventually unanimously approved the the request from Farmington Township to leave the county zoning ordinance.
Commissioner John Eggleston made a motion towards the end of the meeting to "...amend the zoning ordinance to reflect the withdrawal of Farmington Township from that ordinance."
However, Commissioners Chairman Stephen Vanco said after the meeting that the vote "basically has no meaning because the ordinance was not changed" and he expects the commissioners to take a vote during their meeting on Oct. 10 as originally intended.
Vanco said he doesn't think Wednesday's vote has to be rescinded and that the county zoning ordinance will not change until it's rewritten.
After approving the minutes from the public hearing held on Sept. 17 at the Lander Fire Hall held to solicit input from township residents on the supervisors' petition to remove zoning from the township, Commissioner John Bortz asked Vanco "...do you have an idea as far as when we will be able to address this?"
"Why don't you just vote on it right now?" Fiscal Director Toby Rohlin asked. "Unless you haven't made up your minds, or do you have to think about it for two more weeks?"
"I guess I could put it to a vote," Vanco said. "We have not as such come a decision that that was something we would do here."
"I don't see any reason why we couldn't put that on the agenda (at Wednesday's meeting) at number 10 and vote on it," Eggleston said.
"I would say by our next meeting, I would think we should be able to," Vanco said. "I don't see any reason we can't."
"Let me see if I get this straight, essentially how the process works is we were notified by Farmington Township that they wanted to get out of zoning. So we had a public hearing, that public hearing was to receive comments pertaining to what was the sentiment of the public about getting them out," Bortz said. "The next thing that happens is, we advertise the change in the ordinance, and then we ultimately adopt it Oct. 10."
"Then how can we advertise the change if we haven't voted on it?" Eggleston asked. "We can't very well rewrite the ordinance if we haven't voted on it."
"What we voted on today was to formally begin the process of complying with the request made by the Farmington Supervisors," Bortz said after the meeting. "We have not removed Farmington from county zoning at this time."
Bortz said after the meeting there are still additional processes that need to be involved before final action can be taken, including revising the ordinance and a public comment period.
"Upon that final action, I've no doubt that Farmington Township will be removed..." from the county zoning ordinance, he said.