Earlier this month, the Planning Commission approved a two-parcel subdivision in the Browns Ranch Road area of Weaverville for applicants Tom and Patty Doerpinghaus. The commission sided with the applicants in the removal of certain conditions they argued would result in exorbitant costs much greater than the value of the property.

Replacing a 30-inch culvert with a 40-inch culvert; paying for a 100-year hydrology study of the watershed draining down across Browns Ranch Road; and dedication of a 60-foot road easement for potential parcels that could be created by other owners farther up were some of the conditions removed.

The applicants’ agent, Eric Keyes of Trinity Valley Consulting Engineers, Inc. said the application was originally submitted in 2018 and it has taken 18 months to get this far. The proposed conditions were just included two months ago.

“We’ve noticed a steady decline in recorded maps in the past decade. There were zero last year and only one in 2018, so pretty much all subdivisions have ceased in this county. Before that, they were done on a regular basis and there used to be a Subdivision Review Committee,” Keyes said. The SRC would meet with applicants and discuss development conditions prior to the Planning Commission involvement.

Planning Director Kim Hunter agreed the SRC needs to be reconvened, saying “we have a backlog of subdivision requests and parcel maps that there hasn’t been staff to process. Regardless of that, the SRC is very much needed as many of these issues could have been discussed and negotiated. The project could have moved forward with clearer understanding versus getting to this point with the applicant not receiving proposed conditions until just before the meeting. I have concerns about the make-up of it, but having an SRC is absolutely essential.”

She said she will discuss it with county counsel and report back to the commission at a future meeting.

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