Char-Koosta News

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The Lake County Commissioners makes changes for the planning director

POLSON — LaDana Hintz took over the duties of Lake County Planning Director in January of this year. LaDana has been with Lake County as a planner for over six years and will bring her years of experience in Lake County to the Planning Director position. There are two other planners in the office, which is one less than in previous years. Due to the downturn in the economy and a lighter workload in the office, it was determined that the office would experiment with one less planner for a few months and then determine if the unfilled position was needed.

Last year the Planning and Environmental Health Departments went through an evaluation process that was performed by an out-of-state evaluator. The evaluation focused on customer service elements of the two departments, and following the evaluation both departments were provided ideas that might help their offices better serve their customers in Lake County. A customer service survey has been added to the Lake County website which encourages residents who use either of the departments to respond to how the department interacted with them, either positively or negatively.

The Commissioners met with the Planning Director in January and outlined what they would like to see prioritized for completion by the department in 2014. Prior to the spring and summer construction period, the Commissioners will propose some amendments to the Lakeshore Building Regulations that will clear up a few of the smaller problems in the existing regulations such as defining the term “treated material,” and allowance for docks greater than 50 feet in length. A review of all of the lakeshore regulations would be a lengthy process and would not be able to be accomplished this year. The Commissioners are committed to completing a review of the density map this year. When the density map document took effect in October, 2005, there was a provision for review of the document one year after adoption and then further reviews the fifth and tenth year of each decade. None of these reviews have ever been implemented. The Lake County Planning Board must initiate the review process, and hopefully that process can begin in March.

Commissioners also hope to look at the existing Family Transfer process in regulations and determine if there is a way to streamline that process and make it quicker and easier for residents to give pieces of their property to eligible family members.

We encourage citizens to provide comments and suggestions on how the Planning and Environmental Health Departments can better serve those who require the services provided by the departments. We understand that compliance with planning and environmental health regulations can be time consuming and costly, but we want folks to get the information and paperwork they need completed in a timely manner that results in a positive experience for all parties.

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