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Thursday, December 21, 2023 – 9:00 a.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia

ZEBULON - James Jenkins, Jason Proctor, Tim Daniel, Briar Johnson. County Clerk Angela Blount to take the minutes, County Manager Brandon Rogers, and County Attorney Rob Morton. Tim Guy was not able to attend.

County Manager Rogers and Planning and Development Director Jeremy Gilbert met with the group (listed below)last week in a 6 hour meeting. Worked through everything from the past 6 months and put it all together for commissioners.

1. CALL TO ORDER ...... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

2. INVOCATION ...... Silent Invocation

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ...... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. § 50-14-1 (e) (1))


a. Discussion of the Pike County Unified Development Code (UDC) with the following individuals: Matt Bottoms, Kacie Edwards, Benny Evans, Steve Reeves and Brooklyne Wassel.


Agenda subject to revision

Click here to see the documents that have been uploaded with the agenda on the Pike County government page.

Click here to review the Zoning Map Official Revision from 11.20.23.

Click here to watch the 2 hour video on FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/pikecountytimes/videos/336571679144621/

Click here to see links to numerous meetings and FB Live recordings of meetings that have been held in the past on the revision to the ordinances.

[Note from the Editor: The following document was obtained from Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Gilbert through an open records request for documents used in the meeting today. Click here to read the document entitled, "PZB changes to UDC 11-9-23 W CM Comments."

Thank you to Director Gilbert for using the microphone and ensuring that those speaking used the microphone so that the meeting was audible both to the audience in the 9 a.m. meeting as well as those who were watching/listening to the meeting online because they could not attend the meeting in person. My notes from the meeting are below this document.

County Manager Brandon Rogers read from the document above and P&Z Director Jeremy Gilbert spoke between as he stood between the Board of Commissioners and the volunteer board members and audience.]

Recommended Amendments from PZB (Planning and Zoning Board) to BOC (Board of Commissioners) for the UDC (Unified Development Code)
November 9,2023 Meeting:

A-R changes

• No limit on chickens in A-R lots over 5 acres. Section 503 C 16
• Limit of 25 chickens on lots less than 5 acres Section 503 C 16
• Remove the paved road and paved parking requirement for rural event centers. Section 503 B 23 B&F
• Add a special use permit to allow livestock on lots less than 5 acres. Section 503 D

RR changes

• Add back Section regarding barndominium to 603 A.
• Remove fence requirement for chickens. Section 603 C 7 B Due to RR being mainly in a Subdivision I would recommend keeping the fence requirement for this district
• Limit of 25 chickens on all lots in RR district. Section 603 C 7 Due to RR being mainly in a Subdivision I would recommend staying with the BOC/PZB decision of 10 Chickens [Note from the Editor: Before your blood pressure goes up on this, this wasn't brought up again. The commissioners are DONE talking about chickens.]
• Change section 603 C 7 from one acre to three acres I would need more clarification on this, my thought is to stick with the previous decision of 1 acre and the above changes
• Add a special use permit to allow livestock in the RR zoning district. Section 603 D Recommend approval to help with FAA membership
• Allow products grown on site to be sold on site. Section 603 C 5.

R-1 changes

• Add back requirement for fence and maintenance to section 703 13. Letter B and D

R-2 changes

• Require public sewer. Section 804 H remove septic tank permitted.

PI, C-1, C-2, C-3, M-1 and M-2 changes

• Change the statement in all non-residenal districts from “All uses not permitted within the __ district by this section shall be specifically prohibited” to “Any use similar or compatible not listed within permitted uses section will at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator be presented as a special use permit and follow the procedures for a special use permit.”

Article 2 changes

• Change section 203 V 2 requiring the maximum allowable size of a guest quarters be 1,500 square feet across the board.
• Possibly remove or change the defintion of Equipment, Heavy Section PP to follow the State definition to allow for agriculture equipment to be exempt. Official Code of Georgia 10-1-731 (2) that defines Heavy Equipment as follows. “Heavy equipment” means self-propelled, selfpowered, or pull-type equipment and machinery, including diesel engines, weighing 5,000 pounds or more and primarily employed for construction, industrial, maritime, mining, or forestry uses. The term “heavy equipment” shall not include:
o (A) Motor vehicles requiring registration and certificates of title;
o (B) Farm machinery, equipment, and implements; or
o (C) Equipment that is “consumer goods” within the meaning of Code Section 11-9-102.

Article 4 changes

• Remove the requirement of a building permit on fences 4 feet or taller. Section 405 A 5. I would possibly discuss removing the requirement for fences 4 feet or under with the possibly of keeping an inspection on fences over 4’ that may require additional support or construction

Article 16 changes

• Add a statement to section 1615 E that the final approval of the either-or requirements outlined in this section shall be approved by the Planning and Zoning Board during the overlay review.

Recommended Amendments from Workshop 12/14/2023

• Guest Quarters/ Mother in Law Suits shall be a max square footage of 1500 or 50% of the primary resident, whichever is less. Square footage is measured using only heated areas. Garage/Carports are not allowed in R-1 and R-2 districts.
• Barndominium type housing should be allowed in AR and RR districts with no restrictions
• Event Centers should require business license, and meet all ADA requirements, with no restrictions on acreage
• The selling of produce or plants in RR should require a home occupation license that is approved by the Admin
• RR Subdivisions should require minimum landscape standards to include minimum of 4 trees with a minimum of 1.5 inch diameter in size.
• Students that wish to participate in agriculture programs maybe approved by the Admin once receiving a letter from an extension agent or ag teacher.
• Update the Heavy Equipment definition to exclude all tagged vehicles
• The group agreed with the current recommendations on the number of chickens in each district that was provided by the PZB
• Gardens should be permitted use in R-2 districts
• Under the obnoxious vegetation section clarify that this only applies to subdivision lots
• For suggestions on the tree, shrub, and turfgrass charts the recommendation is to not include permitted items but only to list excluded items

• Recommend changing the number of years from current 5 to 1 year period between the time when a lot can be subdivided without causing a major subdivision, while keeping the number of splits at 4 which would constitute a major subdivision
o OR Change the number of splits from 4 to 6 that would constitute a major subdivision and leave the time period between lots being subdivided at the current 5 years

• Major subdivisions should require internal streets. In districts R1, R2, and RR streets should be paved
o OR no roads required in AR subdivisions

• Abandoned Wreaked or Junk Vehicles needs to better define a junk vehicle from a project vehicle
• 2202 should be changed to Parking and storage of Camper and RV
• Update section 2603 to only apply to commercial

Pike County Times Notes from the meeting.

AR Changes

No limit on lots over 5 acres.
On lots that are less than 5 acres. 25 limit chickens.
Remove paved roads and parking on event centers.
Special use permit for less than 5 acres for educational purposes.

RR Changes

Add back barndominiums.
Removing fence requirements for chickens. (Brandon recommends keeping the fence requirements.)
Limit of 25 chickens in AR.
603c7 Need to check wording.
Special use permit for livestock for education.
Subdivisions and fences for chickens

R2 Changes

804h require septic for 1 acre or smaller lots.

Change statements that non-residential uses not permitted. Added the section back in so more flexible for special use permits.

Article 2 Changes.

Guest quarters.
1615d Approved by the Planning and Development
Fences 4 feet or taller. CM Rogers. Anything 4 foot or smaller is usually agricultural so no need for inspection. Want to do this for 6 and 8 foot fences? Is there a need for this? Recommendation not to examine on any size of fit. Proctor. Doesn’t agree with paying for a permit for a fence. [Note from the Editor: I don't agree with paying a permit for a fence either.] Rogers. It costs us more than $50 to do this. Consensus to remove.

Thanked everyone for attending the meeting last week. Johnson said thank you very much. No one is gong to be 100% happy with this, but many people have worked together to make this the best document that we can for the entire county.

Guest quarters/Mother in law suites.

Group consensus that these should be a maximum square footage of 1500 square foot or limiting by the size of the primary residence. Measure by heated areas only. R1 and R2 probably shouldn’t allow garages and carports. In other places, not a problem.

Discussion: Why 50% and not a regular square footage like 1,000 or 1,500 feet? It creates other issues with the regular if you don’t add the up to 50% of the primary residence, it will keep the purpose there. This will keep people from making two residences of the same size on one piece of property. 600 feet can be an issue for people. Included the committee. It is intended to be an accessory unit. Maybe keep the max size and change the percentage? Jeremy. Cutting to 50% ensures that it is an accessory use. Many times, these get used as rental properties later. Urged the commissioners and the Planning and Zoning Board to stay with what is written rather than giving variances. 1200 maximum with an acreage restriction and/or an increase in how far the buildings have to be from each other? 50% OR LESS ensures that this will be an accessory use. Maybe no maximum then? Setbacks matter on this.

Consensus. 50% of the heated floor space with a 1,500 square foot maximum.

It was noted that they are working to do the very best job possible. They are not going to please everyone, but everything will not please any one group either.

Barndominiums. Put back in with restrictions but recommendation from last week was to have no restrictions. What about a barndominium subdivision? Should there be restrictions? Is there a way to separate individual from subdivision building?

3 acres or larger only allow these. Leave it like it is.

Event Centers.

No restriction on acreage at all. Need a business permit. Asphalt requirement is gone except for ADA requirements that are federal requirements. They have to come in as a special exception with a special hearing for the AR. Minimum 5 acres from here on out.

Selling of produce requires an admin approval.

Produce stand with a home occupation license for smaller lots under 5 acres. Anyone who is selling anything for a profit is supposed to have a license. “Take what you need, Leave what you can” stands are going to be an issue. This is for 3 to 5 acres. State law preempts county law. If you distinguish a home occupation for a business, it needs to be across the board and equally applied. RR subdivision requirement. It says that you can grow it, but you shouldn’t sell on it. Government regulation is a concern from board members. Maybe to meet in the middle, maybe restrict what the roadside stand looks like? 3 acres plus. Home occupation does not allow a business license to sell anything visibly from your property currently if not AR. Consensus to make it same as AR but allow a smaller stand in RR. [Note from the Editor: I don't agree with having a permit and a fee for every single little thing. If I want to sell a few eggs and tomotoes from my property, I shouldn't have to ask permission and pay for a $75 to do it. Most people aren't making a ton of money doing this. Government overregulation is a valid concern that has been voiced by many members of the public in these meetings over the past year.]

RR minimum of 4 trees with minimum of 1 inch in size. How to measure the trees and what standards should be allowed in RR?

Students allowed to participate in FHA activities.

Students can be approved by admin by a letter from the Ag teacher or the Extension Agent. Then not have to come before the Board for approval or have to pay a fee. If receive complaints, there will be documentation for this IF the neighbors complain. [Note from the Editor: Prior to this, parents had to ask for permission AND there was a $500 fee to get the county to consider allowing these students to take home their animals. This is a good compromise.]

Update heavy equipment definition.

Recommend to changing this to the state’s definition.


Dealt with this earlier.


Not a permitted use in R2. No problem with people having gardens.

Cutting high grass in subdivisions.

Just to be able to receive complaints in subdivisions when people let things get overgrown so we can discuss this. Lots that are 3 acres or less. This would not be an issue. We have nothing today to tell us to cut your grass if it’s high and causing rats, mice, snakes, etc. HOAs in subdivisions. Clarify that this is in major subdivisions, 3 acres or less.

Minimum number of trees and size.

The list of permitted and excluded items. Anything not excluded is permitted. [Note from the Editor: I am hoping that invasive plants and trees have been removed from the list as permitted. I have not looked at the list again.]

Definitions of Major and Minor Subdivisions and Allowed Splits.

Reduce to 3 every 1 year instead of 3 splits every 5 years. Trying to keep those with children, family members, etc from having to do what major subdivisions are required. P&Z Director Gilbert recommended: If you allowed it every year, this will probably not benefit the county in the long run. 5 lot minor subdivision to accommodate families. If we are going to require internal streets for major subdivisions, we need to make an accommodation. 6 lots or more will require internal streets. 4 every 5 years in a major subdivision now. So going to 5 lots in 5 years. It resets every 5 years.

Interior Roads.

Major subdivisions R1, R2, and RR. No required roads in AR subdivisions—those with 10 acres or more. Discussion. If you require interior roads, there will be more lots. Zoning districts will eliminate some of these issues. They have to come in for a rezoning so berms and screens can be required with the new requirements. Linear driveways along a roadway versus interior streets. Limiting driveway cuts on major thoroughfares is a concern to some. 14 lots on Glover Road with curb cuts and a lot of curb cuts on New Hope Road.

More discussion. Tim Daniel suggested, Or no roads required in AR. This is what we have currently. Consensus to keep the RR requirements for streets and none for AR.

Abandoned, wreck, junk vehicles.

Project cars or Christmas decorations. This wasn’t finished up by the group. Discussion about yard art a couple of years ago. Did not have a motor, etc. It was a shell of a car. At what point is a vehicle considered a vehicle? High density areas with many unregistered cars, trucks, tractors. Pulled from the nuisance section that defines a junk vehicle as litter so Code Enforcement can handle these complaints. What about cars that are being worked on? Allowance for project or hobby car? Need to differentiate from 1 acre and large lots.

Usually there is an issue between neighbors that starts this. Maybe allow a property owner to present a plan to show that something is not a junk vehicle. Everything rolls back to whether there is insurance and a tag so it’s about taxes. The ordinance does not say whether it is visible from the road or not so there is no differentiation. Maybe look at by lot size then. Complaint based now. [Note from the Editor: And it was pointed out in a previous meeting about problems between neighbors AND anonymous complaints, but Planning and Zoning is still going to accept anonymous complaints.] Working farms are exempt. Discussion about fines and up to how much this can be charged per day according to the county and the state law. The judge has discretion on this.

Clerical on 2202.

Parking of major recreational equipment. Change it to say parking and storage of camper and RV so someone with a side by side won’t be in violation of the ordinance.

Section 2603.

Landscaping and trimming. Applies to commercial only.

CM Rogers. Have addressed everything from the 6 hour meeting.

[Note from the Editor: Now for everything else....]

Tim Daniel. Thank you for the 6 hour meeting last week because without it, this would have turned into a 10 hour meeting.

James Jenkins. Section 202. Aa and section h. Planning and Zoning Administrator changed to the county manager rather than the Board of Commissioners. It needs to be the Board of Commissioners. P&Z Director Gilbert said that every time he is out of the office, people call and say who is signing plats? This change would allow the county manager to do this in my absence rather than having a called meeting to do this. Jenkins. Y’all have a good working relationship now, but I am concerned about the future. Johnson agreed. Rogers. Says it is designated by me so is not necessarily me. Said that there was a problem with this when former P&Z Director Brad Vaughn left and before Gilbert came in to work. Who signs these if Gilbert is gone? Johnson. We will know this a couple weeks out if he leaves. Tim Daniel. We can do a special called meeting with at least commissioners to take care of this. Consensus to have this with the Board of Commissioners. [Note from the Editor: I think this is wise.]

Agricultural dwelling United in not liking what was presented with up to 10 units as agricultural dwellings. How to categorize in AR? Trying to figure this out. Maybe allow it as a primary residence on a farm with an accessory building as the second unit. Maybe attached to the farm to be farm housing. Though what happens if it ceases to be a farm. The ordinances will allow at 1500 square foot home now.

Brad Gregg gave his concerns aloud from where he wrote his letter to commissioners. Says that the housing needs to be tied to the farm itself. Matt Bottoms echoed this sentiment with housing on the farm property itself rather than being scattered and having to travel the roadways, etc. More discussion. Maybe define a working farm with a definition for housing. Not a principle dwelling. Briar Johnson encouraged P&Z Director Gilbert to reach out to farms in South Georgia too. Benny Evans suggested asking the Planning Commission to come up with this and getting County Attorney Rob Morton involved too. Don’t want this one meeting to hold this up. Brad Gregg. Met with county officials in July about this. It will be hard to get this in later. Nothing has been done. Briar Johnson. Thank you for your input on this. Anything else?

Benny Evans. Thank you to everyone on this. Concerns about options spelled out for those who bring in developments to maybe present alternative development plans.

Tim Ingram. Question on Mother in Law Suites. Are they going to be an accessory building or Mother in Law Suite? Both are accessory building. County Attorney Morton. If it is heated and livable, it will be taxed differently.

Steve Reeves. You’re not going to write the perfect ordinance but thinks that a year long moratorium is going to hurt our county. Text amendments are common in other counties. We can do this too. The continued moratorium makes us look bad as a county. Urge the commission to get this done.

Motion to adjourn. 11:13 a.m.

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