• Jackson County Planning Department Director Mike Poston, right, makes a point at a recent Cashiers Area Community Planning Council meeting as the council’s vice chairman, Deborah Townsend-Stewart, listens. (Photo by Don Richeson.)
    Jackson County Planning Department Director Mike Poston, right, makes a point at a recent Cashiers Area Community Planning Council meeting as the council’s vice chairman, Deborah Townsend-Stewart, listens. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

Cashiers Planning Council looking at temporary signage

By Dan Brown / Staff

CASHIERS -- The Cashiers Area Community Planning Council canceled last month’s public hearing on expanding Cashiers-based Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau, after club officials decided to instead further consider other alternatives. According to a club statement, board members decided funds could be better spent on something more permanent.

In an emailed statement, a spokesman for the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau said, "Our plans over the next two years are to construct a new and permanent building for an expansion to the current Boys and Girls Club facility. The proposed modular unit is a possible temporary solution to our growth needs. In working with the Planning Department, we have decided to delay our application to more fully look at the costs and requirements associated with this option.”

The Cashiers Area Community Planning Council’s only agenda item for its Jan. 28 meeting was a discussion on the Uniform Development Ordinance that is expected to help the council do more with its Small Area Plan, said Jackson County Planning Director Mike Poston.

“There are two projects going on here in the Uniform Development Ordinance and the Cashiers Small Area Plan,” he said. “The UDO is the framework document for all the county’s ordinances that is going to create a centralized document that will make it a lot easier on staff.”

Poston said the only significant change in the ordinance has to do with signage.

“The Cashiers UDO changes in regard to signage that we’ve been directed by the state and federal government to do,” Poston said. “It’s mostly dealing with temporary signs like For Sale signs or Vote for Jim, and the supreme court’s decision that you can’t regulate signs based on the totality of its content.”

Poston said the changes to the UDO had more to do with document centralization.

“The standards of the ordinance will not change much, but the format the document is in gets changed a good bit where the documents are centralized. We haven’t lost any of the standards of the UDO, only in the modification of a centralized document.”

Planning Council Chairman Michael Cox said the council’s goal with its Small Area Plan is to move forward in giving Cashiers more of a sense of place.

“We want the ability to have more walkability, have buildings that felt like you were somewhere,” he said. “A lot of people talk about slowing down traffic. It’s proved that buildings located closer to the street slow down traffic. It’s proven that streets and trees with canopies slows down traffic … how do look at we get there? The Small Area Plan gives us the tools to get there.”

According to Poston, the UDO will be up for a vote during the Cashiers Area Community Planning Council’s Feb. 27 meeting.

Also, it was announced during the last month’s meeting that a Jackson County Board of Commissioners public hearing has been scheduled for March 7 in Cashiers at 5 p.m. According to Poston, the location and agenda beyond the public hearing has yet to be determined, but will at least be a public hearing inviting the public’s comments regarding the Small Area Plan. 

The Cashiers Small Area Plan is the blueprint for the future of Cashiers development and was the planning council’s top goal to complete and get approved for 2019.

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