The York County Council approved the first reading Monday night of an ordinance that would suspend all single-family and multifamily residential rezoning applications within the unincorporated Ft. Mill Township until the end of 2016. The moratorium would also apply to the acceptance of residential site plans and preliminary plats, although council members expressed doubts this element of the ordinance could legally be enforced.
While the first reading passed by a vote of 5 – 2 (with Chairman Britt Blackwell and Councilman ‘Bump’ Roddy voting against), at least three other members of Council expressed serious concerns about the proposal’s effectiveness, and indicated they may not be able to support its passage through a third and final reading.
Councilwoman Christi Cox, who seconded the motion to approve the first reading of the ordinance, said she wanted to explore other tools to address growth, such as requiring a Traffic Impact Analysis on every rezoning and being able to deny a rezoning request based on local infrastructure issues. Other council members expressed their desire to see a Capital Improvement Plan approved by the County, to identify and address specific road funding needs.
Councilman Michael Johnson, who requested the moratorium ordinance, said he would also like to see he creation of a ‘study committee,’ made up of community stakeholders, to identify long-term growth management strategies.
The moratorium ordinance will now be referred to the York County Planning Commission, which will meet Monday, May 9th to consider the proposal. A public hearing on the ordinance is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Monday, May 16th at 6 p.m., and a third and final reading would be held in June.
All builders and developers in York County are strongly encouraged to attend the public hearing and make their voice heard on this critical issue!
REBIC opposes the moratorium ordinance, and will continue to work with the County Council and the HBA of York County to prevent its adoption.