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Praise to the planners, town council members

Though the two controversial projects seem all but dead-on-arrival to us, we commend the Farmville Planning Commission and Town Manager Gerald Spates for slamming the breaks on two rezoning requests that could, in our opinion, change this town forever.

The commission unanimously voted Sept. 27 to table the rezoning requests from Robert and Sherry Martin and Walk2Campus Holdings LLC, asking the town council to authorize Spates to prepare a request for proposals (RFP) for outside consultants to assist the town in updating its comprehensive plan and reviewing and proposing amendments to the town’s zoning ordinance.

The request was followed by the town council’s unanimous vote to issue such an RFP.

There’s no doubt that if the projects progressed — even to a public hearing, which planners were poised to do during their meeting — it certainly would be putting the cart before the horse.

Ward E Commissioner Jerry Davenport said it best during the meeting when discussing Spates’ suggestion.

“We’re at a point where the town really needs to think about where we’re headed … It’s a serious breaking point where we’re coming to,” he said.

We commend the town council for following and taking heed of the commission’s recommendation of having an outside consultant help facilitate the process of updating what’s arguably the most important document the town is commissioned to compose.

If there’s one good thing that’s resulted from the proposal of these two projects — which we hope won’t make it to the light of day after the updating of the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance — is that the community and its government leaders are beginning to chart a map of thoughtful development and planning for Farmville.