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Friday, January 27th, 2006 -- 11:43 AM

Many in Clark County are still buzzing about last week?s Clark County Board meeting. By one vote ? 13 in favor to 14 opposed ? the board last Tuesday defeated the controversial ?Year 2025 Comprehensive Plan?.

Built in accordance with the state's so-called ?Smart Growth? legislation, the plan was blasted by property rights advocates, but more quietly praised by some municipal leaders.

Clark County Board Chairman Wayne Hendrickson of Unity was at the center of last week?s pivotal vote. Hendrickson says the issue was the most controversial he?s seen in thirty years on the board.

Six years ago, Hendrickson voted in favor of starting the planning process. Hendrickson again voted in favor of the plan in May when the board easily voted down a resolution that would have suspended planning.

But he voted to table the ordinance in December. And last week ? despite signing his name to an amendment that would have delayed implementation of the plan until 2010 ? Hendrickson voted against the amendment and the plan itself.

"I was undecided until the last minute," Hendrickson says. "I was in favor of the amendment... but I didn't vote in favor of the amendment. But, I was in favor of the amendment. I just voted "no" on everything."

WCCN/WPKG has been told by sources that wish to remain anonymous Hendrickson told at least one supervisor and department head that he would vote in favor of the amended plan. Hendrickson denies that claim.

While he initially supported the plan, the overwhelming show of disapproval and the board?s apparent desire to hold an advisory referendum on the issue changed his mind.

"Everybody was getting sick of it. They wanted to get rid of it one way or the other," Hendrickson says. "The majority (of board members) wanted to have a referendum, that's why I voted "no".

But Hendrickson says he personally disagrees with plan opponents who claim the ordinance would strip property rights.

"It's a plan. There's no enforcement," Hendrickson states.

And while the issue caused plenty of noise up until last Tuesday?s meeting, Hendrickson says it's been quiet since. He says a "couple" of plan supporters called to complain. "They asked me if I was smoking something," Hendrickson jokes.

The State Department of Administration has indicated they will demand repayment of nearly $200,000 in grant money if the county doesn?t adopt a plan, but Hendrickson says the county has not taken steps to repay the money and it's ?anybody?s guess? if the DOA will follow through with their threats. Hendrickson assumes the board would bring the plan back if voters pass an advisory referendum on the issue in April; otherwise, he considers it a ?dead issue?.

Hendrickson is one of two county board members facing a February primary in advance of April elections supervisory elections.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.