Former Danville city engineer proposes change to P&Z regulation he helped create

Published 1:31 pm Monday, January 23, 2017

A former Danville city engineer says rules for land development set up while he was with the city decades ago are now cumbersome and should be streamlined to help developers.
Luther Galloway, who served as Danville city engineer for 21 years before retiring in 2001, said planning and zoning regulations currently call for utility companies to sign off on plans at multiple stages of development, including site plans.
Galloway said when he was city engineer, the signature requirement was implemented as a way to reassure property owners that the land they were purchasing would have appropriate access to utilities.
He said he thinks there are still good reasons to require utility companies to sign off on final plats, but it’s duplicitous and time-consuming to also require the signatures at an earlier stage, when site plans are approved.
Acquiring utility companies’ signatures has gotten increasingly difficult in recent years, as companies lock down local facilities for security reasons and consolidate and centralize offices far away, Galloway told Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning commissioners Wednesday.
Sometimes, it can take eight hours of paid work to get a signature, Galloway said. That’s costing developers as much as $1,000 per signature and slowing the development process down, explained Galloway, who now works as an engineer with AGE Engineering Services in Stanford.
The only other county in the area where utility companies are required to sign off on development plans is Fayette, Galloway said.
“This has become a problem,” he said. “I’m not asking for action today, but I am asking the commission to take it under advisement.”
(Photo by Ben Kleppinger/bkleppinger@amnews.com) Planning and Zoning Director Paula Bary

(Photo by Ben Kleppinger/bkleppinger@amnews.com) Planning and Zoning Director Paula Bary

Planning and Zoning Director Paula Bary said she agrees keeping the signatures on final plats would be a good thing.
“I don’t disagree with your recommendation to remove that (signature requirement) on some things,” she said. “But I think it’s good to have them on plats for everybody’s sake.”
Bary said in order for Galloway’s proposed change to happen, the Planning and Zoning Commission would need to make a recommendation to Danville City Commission, which would then hold a public hearing before anything could be finalized.