On Monday, the Montgomery County Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve the long-awaited and often controversial zoning ordinance. This process began more than two years ago, with the creation of the Montgomery County comprehensive plan.
But the process isn’t over yet.
According to Terry Hockersmith, President of the Montgomery County Council, there is still work to be done and discussions to be had before zoning begins.
“The council provides funding for the commissioners,” Hockersmith explained. “It’d mostly be legal fees but if (the commissioners) wanted to create a new department or position, they would come to us for funding.”
Then what?
Hockersmith, an outspoken opponent of zoning, said, “I can’t see adding that level of bureaucracy that infringes on people’s personal property rights.”
That begs the question, would this affect whether Hockersmith approves funding? “It would take four votes (out of seven) to approve any funding for zoning purposes. I can’t speak for anyone else but I would not approve any funding for zoning.”
Hockersmith also said that the commissioners would need to file a formal request for funding to be considered, at which point the public would be made aware.
What does this mean? Hockersmith explained that without funding approval potential jobs and offices to monitor and enforce zoning would be unable to become a reality.
The Paper attempted multiple times to reach County Commissioner President Jim Fulwider for comment but was unsuccessful.