Pocahontas Commissioners Discuss Need For Comprehensive Plan
Marlinton, WV – Whether or not the county should have a comprehensive plan was once again a topic of discussion at the Pocahontas County Commission meeting Tuesday. Pocahontas County Coordinator Jay Miller says a comprehensive plan is not mandated by the state. But he says without a plan, Pocahontas could lose access to some state funding.
Miller says one possible way to tackle this problem is to create a planning commission. However, he says that would require the County Commission to pass an ordinance for that purpose.
Commission President Martin Saffer is cautiously supportive of the idea of a county plan. However, he doesn’t to see a repeat of the failed Greenbrier County planning process. That county spent a considerable amount of money to create a comprehensive plan only to have it rejected by their County Commission. Commissioner Reta Griffith says any plan also has to take into account that the county includes three autonomous municipalities.
County resident John Leyzorek says the Commission needs to approach the planning issue carefully.
“Pardon my putting it this way, I kind of hear the sound of a freight train here” says Leyzorek. “Planning is a wonderful concept, it is certainly essential as an individual to think ahead to decide what we may want to accomplish, and how we may go about it, but planning as governmental activity is compulsion. Talking about planning as an activity of government, we’re talking about one bunch of people telling other bunches of people how to live and what to do with their property.”
Leyzorek says he’s unaware of a groundswell of interest in planning from county residents. Commissioner Reta Griffith says any planning needs to be inclusive of all county residents.
“I think we should go more the route that Create West Virginia, those other things have done, which is let’s set some community goals like the community action plan from 1995 and other things like that,” says Griffith. “Put positive energy towards doing something that you can control and that you can lead on, and all of these other issues, we’re still waiting on the groundswell.”
After further discussion, Saffer requested that County Coordinator Jay Miller continue to research the comprehensive planning issue. Commissioner David Fleming was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.