Changes to planning commission voting rules still in doubt

The fate of a plan to restructure how voting is handled on most City-County Planning Commission of Warren County decisions, which requires approval by all the county’s legislative bodies, could come down to geography.

Warren Fiscal Court and the Bowling Green City Commission have approved an amended joint agreement that would give more weight to the city of Bowling Green and the unincorporated areas of the county on rezonings and other property-specific actions but maintain the joint nature of the commission on broader planning issues.

The county’s four small cities – Oakland, Plum Springs, Smiths Grove and Woodburn – haven’t yet approved the amended plan that would limit the voting power of their representatives on the commission, and the mayors of those cities are pushing for changes in the geographic range of the voting jurisdictions spelled out in the plan.

Currently, all 12 planning commission members (four each from Warren County and the city of Bowling Green and one each from the four small cities) vote on all matters that come before the commission.

Under the amended plan, all 12 will continue to vote on broad policy matters such as changes to the county’s comprehensive plan and Future Land Use Map.

Voting on zoning changes and other applications related to specific properties will be handled differently under the amended plan.

For such applications in the Bowling Green city limits or in unincorporated Warren County, only the four Bowling Green and the four county representatives will vote.

On applications in the city limits of one of the four small cities or within a quarter-mile of the city limits, the appointee of that small city will vote along with the four county-appointed commission members.

It’s an arrangement that would exclude the representatives of the four small cities from voting on most of the items that come before the commission; so, predictably, it hasn’t been embraced by those cities.

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