Martin Commission moves forward with Comp Plan restoration protections

Local attorney and civic activist Virginia Sherlock details today’s pivotal Martin County Commission meeting:

The Martin County Commission voted today to move forward with Amendment 13-5 to our Comprehensive Plan to restore many of the protections that were deleted by the Future Group re-write under the old commission in 2009.

The Amendment was supported by Commissioners Heard, Fielding, Haddox and Scott.

It was opposed by Commissioner Doug Smith, who has been given the moniker of the new “Commissioner No” by Peggy Hess.

Earlier in the meeting, Commissioner Smith declined to participate in the attorney-client session requested by County Attorney Michael Durham to discuss my request to waive sanctions against the Conservation Alliance and 1000 Friends of Florida in the Valliere Amendment/SUSD Amendment challenge. The purpose of the meeting was for the County Attorney to discuss the status of the litigation and to receive advice from Commissioners regarding how to proceed.

Commissioner Smith refused to attend.

No decisions, votes, or final actions can be taken in an attorney-client session, and there was no public announcement after the session ended with respect to the direction the County intends to take.

The Comp Plan Amendment hearing drew a large public turnout, with individual residents almost universally in support of the work done by staff and Maggy Hurchalla on Chapters 1, 2 and 4. Attorneys for Lake Point, the rock pit operator that is suing the County and Maggy, and for the Floridian project spoke against the Amendment.

Commissioner Scott made the motion to approve the staff recommendation to approve the Amendment conceptually, with additional non-substantive language revisions to be made over the next few weeks for a final vote on August 13, 2013.

Commissioners Fielding, Heard and Haddox made excellent supportive comments, thanking staff for their impressive hard work and thanking Maggy Hurchalla for her expert assistance and guidance, and thanking the public for an amazing level of positive participation in the process.

Congratulations to residents who turned up and spoke out for CPA 13-5.

Thank you Maggy Hurchalla and thank you Commissioners Heard, Fielding, Haddox and Scott for standing up for Martin County’s future.




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