County Commissioners introduce Whigham Dairy Rd. Corridor Protection

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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The Decatur County Commissioners met for their first meeting of the month on Tuesday morning. Among the items on the agenda was a public hearing on the county’s Unified Development Ordinance. Steve O’Neil, the city’s community and economic development director, addressed the commissioners during this, with one particular part of the ordinance dealing with the Whigham Dairy Road Corridor Protection District.

“This is for the creation of environmental districts and a Whigham Dairy Road Corridor Protection district,” O’Neil said, presenting a map of the proposed district to the commissioners. He explained further to the Post-Searchlight, saying, “We knew about the Whigham Dairy Road widening, and we wanted to put in some kind of regulations, because often times when a road is widened, the development that gets spurred by that, unfortunately it becomes kind of an ad hoc development.” He continued, “We wanted to have something in place to protect that corridor in general, in regards to access easements, so we didn’t have driveways every ten feet. We just want an orderly development along there, so we put just the basic framework in place in this draft ordinance.”

According to the ordinance, with Whigham Dairy Road being widened and developed into a truck route to divert traffic away from downtown, more development is expected on both sides of the new route. This is expected to “increase traffic volumes and introduce additional conflict points which will further erode traffic operations and increase potential for crashes.” Aside from safety concerns, aesthetics are another factor going into this ordinance. Access points to property along the road, such as driveways and side streets, is one subject frequently discussed in the ordinance.

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The new restrictions apply “to all properties fronting or located within 300 feet of Whigham Dairy Road in the unincorporated portion of Decatur County, which shall be known as the Whigham Dairy Road Corridor Protection District.” These regulations also apply “in addition to, and simultaneously with, the other applicable regulations of the Decatur County land development and construction regulations”, as well as with additional rules.

For further information on the changes and what that may mean going forward, O’Neil can be reached by cell phone at 229-220-9975, or at his office at 229-400-9303.