LAUREL HILL — The Laurel Hill city council, at its May 3 meeting, voted to look for a planner to rewrite the city’s comprehensive plan and land development code. The council also voted to move forward on contracting a planning official on a temporary basis.
The need for a planning official arose during the April 5 council meeting, when a resident came to the council to start the process of developing a plot of land for affordable housing.
Travis Dewerell asked that the council clarify the process he had to go through in order to begin developing the land. After some confusion, Dewerell was directed back to the city clerk’s office and the city determined a planning official was necessary for staff to review development proposals.
City Attorney Jeff Burns said the city council could hire Jack Dorman, a planning official who has worked in that capacity for Laurel Hill more than a decade ago and currently serves as the town planner for Cinco Bayou.
The council agreed to have Burns reach out to Dorman to fill the position until the city could draw up an interlocal agreement with Okaloosa County for the county to handle those duties. The council unanimously agreed to start the process on the interlocal agreement as well.
The planning official is a separate position from the planner that the council expects to hire at its June 7 meeting. A request for proposal for a planner was sent out after the council agreed unanimously to begin the search.