Is P&Z going PC?
Let's hope so.
While Columbia County commissioners, developers and homeowners have found a way to bring harmony to the contentious debate over zoning "nodes," the county's Planning and Zoning Commission is looking for help in improving their relationships all year long.
No, they didn't invite Dr. Phil for a counseling session.
Instead, newly elected P&Z Vice Chairman Brett McGuire started off the new year by persuading his fellow members to agree to a code of conduct.
For the benefit of citizens fortunate enough to have avoided attendance at planning and zoning sessions last year, here's what this is all about: A couple of the board's members - Tom Sprague and Tony Atkins - often had trouble getting along. The disagreements sometimes got a little ugly, and spilled over into sniping with citizens appearing before the board.
Sprague's term ended, and he is no longer on the board. Moving forward, McGuire's code of conduct should provide a useful guideline for other members in treating each other, and the public, in a civil manner.
The Planning and Zoning Commission, because it deals with bedrock, neighborhood issues of private property use, often is the site for heated public disagreements. Members must have a thick skin to withstand some of the abuse they get from citizens - but they need to save some of that civility for each other, too.
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