Commissioner Candidates: Community Plans


Last updated 10/5/2020 at 3:44pm

Commissioner candidates Larry Chapman and Jason Chappell spoke in absolute terms on topics of preserving communities, land use, and Small Area Plans during the two recent candidates’ forums; both stated that they would only support adopting the outcomes of Small Area Plans if there is unanimous agreement amongst residents. Chappell, who has served 16 years in one of five commissioner seats, voted against the county’s adoption of the Small Area Plan process – a community-based, resident-driven vision plan process.

Chapman, has served eight previous years, including the controversial biomass era where he voted against the biomass moratorium study period.

In both forums, Chappell and Chapman were joined by McCall and Dalton lamenting the acreage of the county in national parks, state parks, easements and HOAs. Chapman and Dalton indicated that folks interested in preservation should band together to form HOAs or record deed restrictions in their neighborhoods, preferring to focus their attention on creating industrial infrastructure corridors.

Cedar Mountain and other communities in the county may be experiencing growth in many aspects – residential, commercial, tourism, construction – as well as the pressure those forces bring on their natural resources and rural character. Managing and guiding that growth is appropriate and prudent; leaders supporting a community’s interest in these things is not radical.

The Cedar Mountain Small Area Planning community deserves encouragement, support, and confidence that their recommendations and conclusions will not only be taken seriously by county leaders, but acted upon and an example of “good planning” for other small area plans in the future.

This election is monumental: four of five commissioner seats will be decided in November, influencing how our communities’ identities are shaped alongside landfill expansion, industrial zoning/corridor extensions, courthouse decisions, the Ecusta Trail, and continued residential and tourism growth. I hope all residents listen to the candidates’ forums, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the county chapter of the NAACP.

Thank you to candidates Doug Miller, Page Lemel, Mike Hawkins, Carl Conley, and David Siniard for stating their support for land use planning to protect rural character, scenic corridors and natural resources of our communities.

Christy Blakely



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