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Jackson ridge law review off the table

The Jackson County planning board is no longer contemplating revisions to the county’s ban on ridge top construction.

The ridge law posed logistical challenges for county staff tasked with enforcing the ordinance. But discussion over how to tweak the ridge law resulted in backlash from the public, who feared the regulation was being weakened.

It turns out the planning board doesn’t have time to review the language of the ridge law anyway, according to Planning Director Linda Cable.

The planning board was asked by county commissioners this week to begin writing an ordinance that would regulate adult entertainment establishments. Commissioners also asked the planning board to tackle a false alarm ordinance that would incur penalties for homeowners if their security systems have an excessive number of false alarms, which take up valuable time for the sheriff’s office.

“Those are more important than reviewing the mountain and hillside development ordinance, which was administrative in nature,” Cable said.

Cable said the decision to table the review of the ridge law has nothing to do with the controversy it generated. Cable said there was never an intent to weaken the ridge law. The discussion was merely an attempt to clarify what qualifies as a protected ridge.

However, in an email memo to planning board members, Cable said said tabling the ridge law review, while intended only as an administrative change, made sense “particularly since it seemed to be controversial” and in light of “concerns from the public.”

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