Planning board needs balance | RecordCourier.com

Planning board needs balance

Staff Editorial

With more than a year of controversial issues before the Douglas County Commission, no break is in sight.

Thursday, county representatives will fill the first two of four seats on the Douglas County Planning Commission advisory board. The board is a hot seat for the battle between those supporting the building industry and those standing up for the slow-growth proponents.

No matter what, the commissioners’ decisions are guaranteed to anger a substantial portion of the population.

Douglas County is home to a diversity of viewpoints. It’s incumbent upon the commissioners to balance the board with people who represent a cross section of those views.

However, to say developers should not be appointed is ludicrous. Those with ties to the industry are often the most knowledgeable when it comes to the technical aspects of construction and zoning. And, they live here, too.

To stack the board with developers is equally nonsensical. Like it or not, a substantial portion of the county’s population want to see growth limits enforced. They also live here and deserve to be heard.

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In between is a group of people who just want to live peaceably in Douglas County with hope for a better future. They don’t want to see housing developments blanket the Valley with asphalt and lawns, nor do they want a housing shortage to squeeze them out of homeownership.

Balance is essential on the planning commission, but even more important than the board’s future political makeup is the appointment of people willing and able to work together.

Factions exist and must be recognized. But they should not hamstring the county.