Sunday, March 12, 2006

"Be careful how wide you open the door." - Atty. Karl Kline to the PC 3/9/06

The Planning Commission has made a change! It will no longer begin its regular meetings at 7:30 PM with a pre-meeting at 7:00 PM. The meetings will henceforth (unless they change their minds) begin at 7:00 PM. Because of changes in the way the agenda is developed and composed, all open projects will no longer be listed and thus need to be "tabled." Only projects that are really going to be discussed at the meetings will be listed on the agenda(s).

This is possible now because Zoning Officer Tim Weis has put up a project status list on the official Forks website.
Check it out. Following the Zoning link at will get you to a list of general project descriptions too. And, as you all know, there is our unofficial current project list on the F.A.C. website News page.

The F.A.C. project list has been updated with the PC March 9th actions. That is where we usually keep our PC notes since that is what they mostly deal with - projects. This latest meeting was a bit different since several new projects were presented as introductions to the plans - before the review letter completion. It was very interesting to know in advance what will be coming up later after the engineers finish exchanging technical notes.

And, for those of you reading the 3/10/06 Express Times, you learned that a concept plan was also presented.
Sarah Mausolf came to the meeting. She wrote about it. Yes, an upscale grocer wants to come to Forks! Trouble is, they want to locate on the corner of Uhler Road and Sullivan Trail and that land is zoned EC (Employment Center) and does not allow for "big box" retail. In addition, it is one busy intersection. The developer will come back again with a traffic study so that the PC can make an informed recommendation to them. Please see the F.A.C. homepage for many interesting "facts" from the developer’s trend analysis.

The Planners were all very interested in the concept as well as very concerned about the traffic there. Ways to accommodate the zoning problem were discussed too. The one that is likely the easiest to do will be to amend the brand new Zoning Ordinance to allow this use under certain conditions. It was this issue that prompted Solicitor Karl Kline’s caveat to "be careful how wide you open the door." He is right of course. If the zoning amendment is not written perfectly, the loopholes will be found and the EC district will become the new Town Center - talk about unintended consequences!

Our objective is to relate what is experienced at Forks Township meetings for those who cannot attend. We are attempting to be as factual as we can. If we make a mistake, tell us via email or COMMENT here in the blog, and we will do our best to correct it. We are not perfect.

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