Planning board approves definition
An ordinance to define zoning enforcement in extraterritorial jurisdiction neighborhoods of the county that are attached to city limits is being sent to the Henderson City Council.
The Henderson Planning Board gave formal approval in Monday’s regular meeting. The move takes care of a misstep on the issue by the board earlier.
According to Corey Williams, the city’s code compliance director, the real work will be funding the effort.
“Doing that much code enforcement with limited funding has always been the question,” Williams said. “We are currently not doing that.”
He also said the change approved Monday was necessary for possible appeals processes.
Answering questions by planning board members, Williams said Vance County has a code compliance officer, but work in the ETJ is scarce. A county ordinance is utilized to enforce cleanup, but city ordinances are more extensive.
Mike Rainey, chairman of the planning board and a city councilman, asked Williams if the real problem was the gray area of the ETJ.
Williams answered that shared city and county authority on code compliance is not at issue as much as funding.
“The county and city will agree to fund it at some point in order for work to move forward,” Williams said.
Williams said he did not have numbers or know of a study on how many properties are a problem in ETJ neighborhoods.
Erris Dunston, the city’s planning director, said the new ordinance is part of a process to update city rules, some of which have been unchanged in 25 years.
Efforts to deal with ETJ blight stem from original ETJ ordinances on junk cars, weeded lots and abandoned housing structures approved in April 2006.
The city council is slated to have the final say on the new ordinance at a future council session.
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