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Last Sunday’s (April 13, 2008) Monitor editorial admitted understandable confusion about the approvals for the Skate Park and “hoped someone in the county can set us straight.” This is an attempt to do so.Much of the confusion arises from the county government’s two distinct roles in public projects. It is the “owner” of the project. It also is the “regulator” with responsibility to determine that the project meets all legal requirements applicable to any owner. These involve two different processes moving in parallel, as they would for a private project. As owner, the county decides whether we want a project (building, park, road, etc), how much we are willing to pay for it and where it should be. For the Skate Park, county council decided the first two questions four years ago. The location was established in June 2007, and affirmed in February. Council also must approve associated contracts and the design. The Skate Park design was reviewed at the April 15 council meeting. These are steps very similar to what any other property owner would follow to build something.The regulatory side is very different and largely under the purview of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z).
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