County: Zoning needed

Published 6:20 am Wednesday, August 15, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
Concerns about the proposed construction of a chemical plant near Atmore have brought about questions of zoning ability by the Escambia County Commission.
Currently the county has no zoning authority to dictate what businesses, industries or individuals can and cannot construct on property they own.
Larry White, commissioner for District 3, said he has heard concerns from citizens concerning zoning abilities of the county.
Stokes said regulating use of property would not be the intent of zoning ordinances that could be put into place by the county.
Stokes also said one of the reasons to consider implementing zoning ordinances in the county is the future growth expected in the area.
Stokes said putting together a plan for zoning in the county is a long, drawn-out process, but is certainly worth the effort.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said zoning ordinances would help keep the county safe, as well.
Smith said the proposed construction of a chemical plant in the Atmore area is cause for concern from many viewpoints.
Currently, the Escambia County Commission's responsibilities include control of all county public funds and property and the adoption of an annual budget reflecting anticipated income and expenses.
Other major areas of responsibilities include construction and maintenance of roads in the county outside the city jurisdictions, providing services for all county departments, purchasing supplies and equipment related to county operations, providing a general support function for all organizational activities such as telephone support, supply support, mail processing, and employee benefits.

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