Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295.
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Editor Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Thursday, August 10, 2023 – 7:00 p.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia
Pike County Board of Commissioners and Pike Zoning Board Joint Workshop

ZEBULON - The Pike County Board of Commissioners will be holding a Workshop with the Pike Zoning Board on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at 7 p.m. in the Main Courtroom of the Pike County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend this meeting.

[Note from the Editor: There was a fair amount of members of the public here tonight. That is encouraging because people need to pay attention this. Some of these proposals sound like big changes.]

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).

Those present: Jeremy Gilbert, Jim McNair, Ed Penland, Bryan Pate, Brandy Loggins, Jason Leatherman, Chairman Briar Johnson BOC, Tim Daniel, Tim Guy, Jason Proctor, James Jenkins, County Attorney Rob Morton, County Clerk Angela Blount, and County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers.

CM Brandon Rogers said that the county is looking for feedback on this Uniform Development Code (UDC). This is a guide to get us where we want to be.

ADDED 8.21.23: Here is an overview of the changes that Gilbert gave to the commissioners and Planning and Zoning Board members at the meeting: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/proposedordinancesoverview8.10.23.2nd.pdf.

http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/2023proposedordinances8.10.23.html has a copy of the proposed ordinances.

Article 1. Technical codes adopted by reference without having to adopt each code like Stormwater, etc. so we’re like the state. Zoning Conversion Chart.

Article 2. Most of the definitions in the UDC. Sensitive Land, Flood Control, etc. We can move them with the rest of the definitions so everything will be together.

Article 3. All the zoning districts

Article 4. Non-conforming, zoning applications, etc. How the county does addressing will be added.

Aritlce 5. AR definition is there. Changes. Minor 4 or fewer. 3 acres or more. Major subdivisions 10 acres. Flaglots here. House size 1500.

Article 6. Rural residential. 3 acre min. 1800 min house size. Flag lots 20% or less and 400 or more apart.

Article 7. R1 Zoning District. 2 acres with a new street. Front yards with paved driveways. 2000 square feet. Flaglots limited to 5% of a development.

Article 8. R2 Zoning District. 1 acre with 2200 square feet for homes. 5% or less with flaglots. County water is required.

Article 9. Lodging and vacation ordinance. Air B&B’s might need to be examined if we want to do this.

Article 10. Regs for Professional and Institutional

Article 11. C1 Minor changes.

Article 12. C2 Minor changes.

Article 13. C3. Minor changes.

Article 14. M1 Light manufacturing. Done to simplify current.

Article 15. M2. Heavy manufacturing. Only 2 categories.

Article 16. Overlay District. Only exception 400 from the center of the road now says 500 feet from right of way. A little easier to see on the survey.

Article 17. Sensitive Land Areas. No change.

Article 18. Watershed. No change.

Article 19. Groundwater Recharge. No change.

Article 20 Wetland Protection. No change.

Article 21. Subdivision design standards. Some changes to paving standards.

Article 22. Misc Provisions. Parking of recreational equipment, junk vehicles, encroachment, address posting. For code enforcement. [Note from the Editor: If it is written, it can be enforced to the letter of the law.]

Article 23. Zoning Map requirements. Working on a new map. [Note from the Editor: A copy of the 2021 map is included on the page with the ordinances that is linked at the beginning of this article.]

Article 24. Powers and duties of various officials concerning this Uniform Development Code (UDC)

Article 25. Sign provisions. No changes but that can be discussed.

Article 26. Landscaping and buffers. Minimum number of trees on residential, trees, etc.

Article 27. Off Street parking. Would require all parking areas to be paved or of a pervious surface. Gravel is allowed for some but not for business. [Note from the Editor: If it is written, it can be enforced to the letter of the law.]

Gilbert said that he is hoping that this will spark some conversation. If you see any typographical errors, please let him know.

County Attorney Rob Morton. There are different ways of doing this. This one is all in one document. Any modifications to ANY OF THE ARTICLES, zoning procedure law will need to be followed for any changes. [Note from the Editor: I type fast, y'all, but I did NOT get everything that was said. However, you get the gist of what was said as you read through this, and I HIGHLY recommend that you take the time to read through these ordinances and voice your opinion. If you do not, and you get zinged with a new whatever after it is passed, please don't include me in your rants against this zoning because I paid the $10.90 for a copy of this document so I can read it too. I will present my issues to those in authority and will not be typing it up because of the enormous amount of time that will be needed to do that. Of course, what concerns me may not concern you and visa versa. Please read for yourself. IMO This is THAT important. And if anyone who was there sees a typo in this, please let me know. There is 2 1/2 of tape on this, and I am not listening to the whole thing again.]

Suggestion for titles in this and mentioning zoning that has been repealed. Issues with definitions. Add the Board of Commissioners to the County Manger along with the Planning and Development Director.

408k. Provides for appeal. HB recently passed affects this. Suggests adding section for an appeal for zoning board to be consistent.

Review policy and procedures for variances. Have others sections that have this but it is required for variances to now have a public hearing. Also need to see how that affects with meeting protocol in section 30.

One of the issues of the new zoning law with multi-family zoning structures, we have a joint comprehensive plan that includes personal care facilities, group homes, etc. This could be an issue that needs to be addressed in some cases.

Text amendments for any article with a process on how to do this needs to be addressed in this. Homes, guest quarters… if there is a change that will be addressed by multi-family. Language for group homes needs to be examined.

Under C2, no provision for special use but that may be intentional. There is for all the rest.

Several articles will fall under UDC and will require following zoning procedures law to address this.


Definition section. Residential sections have been discussed by Planning and Development. Definition section is very expansive. Guest quarters and Mother in law suite have been added. If not listed, goes to Webster’s and the Planner’s Dictionary. Flag lots are defined there as well as lot width measurements.

Flag lots. Permissible as long as more than 400 feet apart. Changes vary by zoning district. By increasing the lot size, the 20% limits flag lots. May want to look at minor subdivisions and add something that says if stacked together and closer than 400 feet then need to have shared driveways. Jenkins. Article 2. Junk or abandoned motor vehicles. This will give Code Enforcement something with a little more teeth in it.

Article 4. If a room full of people opposed or in favor, that should not influence but they are our constituents so need some more clarification on this. Thinks this is current code today. A zoning decision should be a matter of policy and not based on the number of people who show up one way or another. Decision should be made on categories, Morton said. Making a decision on the criteria that is identified.

Leatherman. Agricultural. 5 acres in size but sheet tonight says 3 acres or more. Agriculture needs a min of 5 acres.

Pate. Defining low density has had some issues. Leatherman. Need a definition for this. Discussion on amounts of land on this. Consensus to add a definition so there is clarification moving forward. Leatherman asked about the definitions to Morton. If there is an issue, present to Gilbert tonight. Suggestion to add a definition for low, medium, etc. density.

No overnight accommodations. Do we have any wedding venues with overnight accommodations? Not have any at this time. Is this what we want to do? Will have to put parameters around overnight accommodations if want to allow it. Short term rentals needs to be addressed. Technically a hotel-motel so need to address the state taxes on this. Maybe a special use permit with guidelines.

Privacy fence. Wood, vinyl, etc. Should be we add metal or block? Wall versus fence.

10 acres and want to put a public garage, no vehicles can be outside. Under our ordinances, a home garage for auto repair is not allowed. Not a permitted home occupation. There are some that have been in existence since before Pike County had ordinances, but this is for moving forward. Body work, etc. needs to be done in the building rather than in the parking lot and you can’t have everything stored outside. Trying to require a storage area that isn’t in the front parking lot.

Home occupation. Discussion about 18 wheel vehicle. Definitions apply to every zoning district. Johnson. How will this work? Gilbert wants to see more workshops where people can see this and discuss it. October 8 is the end of the moratorium. Johnson said that he hopes that everyone has read through this and be able to hear the discussion and changes.

Members of the two boards have had this material for the past month. Gilbert wants board members to read through this and not just take his word for this. He is even open to meeting once a week if needed. He wants several of these workshops before the public hearings to allow discussion and changes made.

Johnson wants to allow the public to speak.

Motion to allow the public to speak for 5 minutes each. Approved 5-0.

Steve Reeves. I don’t see whether we’re changing zoning because there is no map at this time, but now we allow a 3 acre for my kid with AR zoning. If cut out a lot for kid, it has to be 5 acre minimum. A majority of the county is AR. 3 acres with 1500 square home. 5 acres suggested by the Planning Commission. Everything increases costs. Not doing anything to decrease costs. Kids coming out of school can afford to live here.

Barndominium requirements. A rule should be put in because there is a problem. If you have to rezone and do 3 acres, are we going to allow someone to cut out 3 acres for RR and do a 3 acre lot? That’s spot zoning. If 100 acres, then have to rezone the whole thing for 3 acres? Said that is what they need to look at. If I want to give my kid 3 acres for a house, I shouldn’t have to pay $1000 to do that.

Brad Gregg. Overnight stay for agritourism and farm worker housing. Looking for something for a farm/agritourism to make money because things are changing. If customers want to come hang at the farm, stay overnight, and then go home the next day. Talking one or two units. Argument for not having it on the farm because the farm needs to best property. If can’t use it for farming, can’t use it for a home either. Maybe adjacent to the farm for worker housing, etc. 2200 or 2000 minimum, if you want things to stay rural, we need to change some of how we’re doing things now.

Newton Galloway. After our defeat on the special exception, discussion that he wants some place to house workers. Meeting with Brad, Rob, and Jeremy about agricultural worker housing and the connection to the farming operation to provide economic housing to the farm. Ordinances related to ag farm housing are prevalent in California and another from Moultrie, Georgia. Pennsylvania also has a policy for this. Asked to add a provision to agricultural workspace that can tie into agritourism. He wrote something for Spalding County.

Bennie Evans. Between him and Tony Watkins, about 30 years together on Planning and Zoning. He praised the boards for doing what they are doing. This is complex and you’re going about it in the right way. We want the best community that we can have. A high quality community. We need to be consistent and have regulations that applicable and fair. We want the best document we can have and the best community that we can have.

Back to the board discussion. Started walking through from the beginning.

Leatherman. This will dictate for our grandkids.

Definition of a kennel. Can’t have more than 4 dogs. Said that there is nothing about a rescue. Should we define this. She was receiving donations to maintain it. 40 dogs and cats could be an issue. Gilbert. 4 or more dogs, this is the definition. We don’t have a limitation for dogs and cats at all in the county itself.

Lot width and road frontage matter when it comes to flag lots. 200 feet wide is a minimum on everything.

Minor and major subdivisions. Is this what we want? 4 or under minor. The BOC talked about changing, but it was left at 4. Intent was to give the Zoning Administrator a way to streamline the process. The entire board is new so asking some questions. 4 divisions every 5 years. Chain lot divisions. If more in the time frame, it needs to be reviewed as a major subdivision. Gilbert. I have not proposed any change to any zoning district other than the conversion chart for the 2 acre lots. I don’t have the ability or authority to do this on my own. What is the intent of this board? Asked them to think on this.

Scenario in commercial. Adjacent lot issue in commercial. Overlay District was a part of this. Can we put a definition in here to correct that problem? Storage was the issue. Maybe a corner lot definition? Maybe put something in the Overlay District. Morton. If there is a provision like that, it could affect car lots. It’s a policy issue. Question on whether we want to do some things like Peachtree City to try to hide parking in the back, etc. Johnson said that he likes the natural vegetation. Monument signs and landscape buffers. Gilbert. If you don’t like what Hwy 19 looks like now with businesses, now is the time to address it.

Jenkins. Article 11. Gas stations. Pumps, etc. at least 20 feet from ROW, streets. Praised Gilbert for his work on this.

Johnson. Do y’all want to stop around 8:30 pm? Yes.

Jenkins. Thanked those who have spoken because it has given him some things to think about. Leatherman. Section 203. 1250 square feet. Gilbert. In field dwelling. Don’t go into a development and build something that is not in character with what is already there. Need to correct this square footage.

Didn’t see anything if wanted to move Grand Dad’s farmhouse here to live in. Have other things but not moving a home. Do we want to allow that? If not listed, then it would not be permissible at all. Morton. This is a definitions section that might not address this. Have to meet design standards on where this would be going. House would be in the dwelling section.

Mother in law suites/ Guest quarters. Is this what the BOC members want to see? Rear yard only unless more than 10 acres. 5 acres or less then 800 feet. Shall not be rented, shall have its own water and sewer, etc. If have more than 5 acres, can build a 1200 square foot home. Correlation between the size of the structure and the amount of land? Discussion on limitations. Maximum size cannot exceed the primary structure needs to go in there. Consensus that don’t want unlimited. Morton made a suggestion to include design standards.

Didn’t see a major difference between AR and RR?

What are the primary things that you are seeing in special exceptions so we can address them at the next meeting?

Inlaw suites. Barns.

Gilbert. 90% of Pike is AR. Under current proposal, looking to go to 5 acre minimum. 10 acre minimum for subdivision.

RR removes the agriculture and brings the 1800 square footage for homes.

He went through character areas on the map with smaller lots tying into places where county water is required. The future land use map tells where we want to put each of these types of developments or not. Rural characteristics versus subdivisions and more dense development.

Penland. RR 1800 square footage. Where are we going to put a first time home owner? We still have to have affordable housing. Morton made a suggestion for another zoning district. Leatherman said that there is affordable housing in Pike County because the cities have 1500 square foot houses. Penland thinks 1500 is where things need to be. Leatherman talked about the tax situation with the home owners paying the taxes now.

Johnson. Gave a scenario from another county where there were concentrating on big houses and the younger folks had to live elsewhere because they couldn’t afford to live there.

Leatherman. We need more industry and bring in more affordable housing together because the deficit with large homes coming in will be paid by homeowners.

Gilbert. Affordable housing is on smaller lot sizes. We don't have that except in the cities where there is infrastructure.

Asked Kacie Edwards, What is affordable housing? 4 houses under $300,000 less than 2,000 square feet. Older houses. Not new constructure. $200,00 to $300,000 would be the desired amount for affordable housing.

More discussion that affordable house is tied to infrastructure. [Note from the Editor: Affordable housing was a HUGE topic of discussion. Prices for homes here are not affordable for those on smaller salaries. Think teacher, police officer, young married couple, family with kids, etc. I am interested in seeing where that part of the conversation goes.]

Johnson. Do we want to divide this out or what to do? Discussion that they don’t want to rush this and also want to talk to those who have knowledge like those who have already spoken. Consensus to continue like they are doing.

Gilbert consulted with the group behind him in the audience. Suggestioned that if we are going through this, jot it down so Gilbert and Morton can look things over before the meeting so they can be prepared for the next meeting. Will still have discussion at the meeting but want to be as prepared as possible. [Note from the Editor: That is an excellent idea, and I encourage the public to do the same. Contact information for the county can be found on the county website at https://www.pikecoga.com/.]

Gilbert said to leave things as they are unless repealed and deal with things as needed. He is working on the map so he can bring that as the group moves forward. There will be a printed copy of the map, they are also working on a map that can be accessible in a digital format.

Johnson asked to see about getting together in a venue where everyone can look at each other instead of being spread out. [Note from the Editor: As long as the public can hear what is being said, I'm all for that.]

6. ADJOURNMENT: 8:47 p.m.

Motion to adjourn. Discussion: Next meeting? They are going to work on that. Approved 5-0.

Agenda subject to revision

Here is a link to the proposed zoning districts map: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/PikeCharacterAreaMap8.29.23.2nd.pdf.

The 4-6 p.m. August 29, 2023 Workshop can be found at: 8.17.23