Thursday, February 12, 2009

Department of Planning and Development

Had a very fruitful meeting with John Rodman, AICP, Planning Administrator at the Department of Planning and Development at the City of Washington Municipality Building. I will try to summarize some of the things I learned. The city of Washington creates zoning and planning regulations for itself and a 3 mile radius outside of city limits, but the surrounding counties have NO ZONING which has its own positives and negatives that I will get to in a minute. The only real restrictions to purchasing land in the outside county is if the Health Department will issue a septic tank permit based on the water drainage efficiency of the soil on your property, and secondly if that land is within the flood zone, which means there is a mandatory statute to purchase flood insurance.
Here's a tid bit of information - %75 of the City of Washington is within the flood zone and during Hurricane Floyd the storm surge got to 9 ft 6 inches. A deterrent I keep feeling in my investigations to this region is that the soil is largely made up of sand and clay, no bedrock, and there is a lot of marsh land. I don't like the ramifications of this given the long term environmental crisis seemingly imminent. But this only leads me to consider the suggestion of my good friend Derek to go visit an environmental scientist at UNC, which would be a fun trip anyways, and there would be babes on campus. Another deterrent to this region is that I have noticed an overwhelming absence of babes, but maybe that is because I live in NYC and it is the wintertime here, although today it is 75 degrees and sunny, with a nice breeze off of the water!
Anyways, the interesting thing about the no zoning in the surrounding counties is that you can do whatever the hell you want with your land, run a business, build a tower to the moon, put up any old crazy church which many folks seem to do - the bad part about this is exactly that, your neighbor can do whatever the hell they want too - run a general store, a hog or chicken farm, a auto shop, and many of them do. So you would need to buy sufficient acreage to buffer yourself from your neighbor...

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