The Columbia County Planning and Zoning Board is an advisory body appointed by the county commission.
As such, the zoning board's recommendations aren't binding unless a majority of commissioners agree.
Commissioners recently disagreed with the zoning board. On Dec. 16, they should do so again.
The issue Dec. 2 was a request from AT&T for permission to build a cell phone tower on leased property on Hardy-McManus Road. The area has some of the county's fastest growth, but lousy cell-phone service. AT&T's 190-foot tower would provide better coverage.
The planning and zoning board said OK - but arbitrarily hacked the tower down to 150 feet just because they thought it would look better.
AT&T officials appealed to commissioners, who agreed that the taller tower makes engineering sense. It also makes aesthetic sense, because other companies would pay for space on the taller tower - reducing the need to build more towers.
The next issue ripe for overturning? Planning and zoning members last week rejected a rezoning request from Kevin Asmann, who wants to operate a "micro farm" on part of 11 acres on Evans-to-Locks Road.
Asmann hopes to sell produce from the site, but the board worries about the number of customer vehicles visiting the tiny farm.
Frankly, such reasoning would make good fertilizer for Asmann's organic operation - because it is pure manure.
A major shopping center is underway up the street. Next door is a townhome complex. Across the street, two subdivisions are being built. Planning commissioners signed off on all of them. Yet they're saying no to a young idealist who wants to operate a farm?
County commissioners should happily overturn the planning and zoning board to allow Asmann's little piece of paradise. We ought to applaud anyone these days who wants to grow things, rather than smothering the land with asphalt.
It would be a sad turn of events if county officials are friendly to cell phones, yet hostile to farming.
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