◆ Busy 2021 summer season. Commissioners seeking additional planning staff.
Applications are starting to taper off as the summer comes to an end, but it was a season for numerous building and development applications, according to Lincoln County Engineer Amy Butler.
Monthly Planning and Zoning meetings included five to six detailed applications throughout the spring and summer seasons. “We came out of a major [slow down],” she said referencing the years following the 2008 recession to a “full bore push for permits.” She added, “We have several projects moving forward.”
The engineer acknowledged most requests are coming in North Lincoln County.
One change that has assisted people seeking a lot to build on is a land use change allowing for projects to be done in five acres, compared to 10 acres as in the past. This involves land use permits for family homes and septic systems.
With increasing applications, the Lincoln County Commission issued a statement in late August calling for public patience as the governing body seeks additional staff.
“The Board of Lincoln County Commissioners regrets that due to staffing shortages in the Office of Planning Zoning — in part due to COVID-19 — the processing for all applications for county planning has been temporarily delayed. Applications may continue to be submitted. They will be placed in a queue and processed in chronological order from the date they are received.
“The Board of County Commissioners recognizes that plans made by applicants may be on a schedule based upon how quickly planning and zoning applications usually progress through the approval process. We also acknowledge that Lincoln County has a limited season in which any planned construction may take place and development schedules may also be planned around this building season. We recognize this delay may cause further delays in any business, development, or building plans. For this, we apologize. We are working to resolve these issues and return to normal staffing levels as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience. “The Board of Lincoln County Commissioners.”