PRINCETON — Gibson County Visitors and Tourism Commission Executive Director Eric Heidenreich released a position statement Thursday from the organization that endorses exploration of land use planning in Gibson County, in advance of an organizational meeting Monday of the Gibson County Planning Advisory Commission.

"...the Gibson County Visitors and Tourism Commission supports the efforts to establish zoning regulations along the Interstate 69 corridor through Gibson County. Gibson County is fortunate to have three exits along the I-69 corridor. We believe that planning for the use of this area can help to maximize the benefits to the county and its residents by promoting a healthy and attractive region for compatible new business and industry. Additionally, such planning can help to preserve the county’s rural traditions by encouraging farmland preservation and protection for agricultural activities," the statement reads.

Six of the seven tourism commission members, plus the ex-officio member voted to approve the statement at the last tourism commission meeting. Commission member Alan Douglas, who is a Gibson County Commissioner, abstained abstaining from the vote.

The Gibson County Gibson County Advisory Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. Monday at Wirth Park in Oakland City to organize, elect officers and establish by-laws.

The new panel c is charged with exploring a comprehensive plan and zoning within the county. Two other meetings are tentatively set for Dec. 18 and Dec. 28, if the panel chooses to meet again on those dates.

The panel was created as one of the first public steps in county government to explore zoning.

In early November, Gibson County Commissioners appointed Commissioner Steve Bottoms, Gibson County Councilman Mike Stilwell, Gibson County Surveyor Scott Martin, a Gibson County Cooperative Extension Service appointment, plus residents John Feutz, April Graper, Larry Harris, Mike McConnell and Steve Obert to the planning commission.

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