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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Pike County Board of Commissioners Workshop
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - 1:00 PM
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia

https://pike.novusagenda.com/AgendaPublic/meetingsresponsive.aspx has an online agenda and accompanying information for this meeting. Monthly information from Animal Control, Coroner, Fire Department, Grady, Library, Magistrate Court, McIntosh Trail CSB, Planning & Development, Registrar, Superior - Juvenile Court, Tax Assessor, and the Water Authority are included as well during the morning meeting only.

1. CALL TO ORDER - Chairman J. Briar Johnson

In attendance: Four commissioners to begin with (Commissioner Daniel came in after a funeral about 1:40 p.m.), County Clerk Angela Blount, County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers, Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Gilbert, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

There were several in the audience who have experience with building in our community. The acoustics are terrible in the courtroom so we had a hard time hearing what was going on, but I was thankful to see the commissioners ask them questions and truly listen to what they had to say. Those who were there didn't seem to want a ton of building on one acre lots either.

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. Review and Discussion of the Code of Pike County, Georgia

Discuss current code and see what the Board would like to change, keep, etc. so the staff knows what you want Pike County to look like in the future. CM Brandon Rogers has list of items that he and Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Gilbert came up with for discussion. They need direction so they can put together some ordinances for further discussion at a later date.

1) Current zoning districts. Housing sizes. Parcel sizes. Subdivisions. What to look like? Setbacks? Water and sewer?

Briar wants to hear from the commissioners and from those in the audience as well because they do this for a living and took their time to come to this meeting.

AR Districts. Minimum 2,000 square foot minimum. Acreage? 10 acre minimum for agricultural subdivision? Livestock requires a special exception. A garden is allowed on 3 acres.

Director Gilbert suggested leaving AR as is and making special zoning districts to deal with parcels and livestock. CM Rogers talked about building materials as well.

Consensus to add more zoning districts.

Mother in Law Suites – 750 feet limit now. Discussion about making it bigger with a larger acreage.

Tiny Homes. This is coming even though we don’t allow these now. Worry about it becoming a trailer park. Some are built like stick homes though and attached to the ground. For now, we don't allow them. Same for trailer parks.

Accessory buildings. Pole barns. Maybe accept these if 10 acres or more. Apparently there has been issue with people building these into homes rather than going by our building code to build an actual home.

Attorney Rob Morton. Clear up the purpose of AR and create these districts so there are fewer questions. This provides options depending on whether water is allowed or not. 3 acres is required now because of private well and sewer. Discussion: Maybe allow smaller lots when there is public water and sewer.

Flag lots. 400 feet apart. Access may be an issue from the DOT. In a larger lot AR, it may not matter. But in smaller districts, it may be an issue. (More on this in a few minutes.) County Attorney Morton said that he recommended getting rid of self-created variances for hardship. Some people like shared driveways and some don’t. This is a policy issue.

Motion to allow Steve Reeves to speak. Allowed 5-0.

Steve Reeves: What do you have against flag lots? Y’all are telling people what they can and can’t do with their land. No sewer. Limited water. Density is the main thing. Look at areas of less and more dense instead. Give incentive to put in water. We don’t want someone to come in and run water to a 300 acre property and put in 1 acre lots here in the county.

Mark Whitley. Deals with larger lots. Look more at density than lot sizes. Lot widths matter. Allow some flexibility on the design, but be careful so we don’t end up with 1 acre lot subdivisions because water affects all of this. He’d like to see the Water and Sewer Authority be involved in this.

P&Z Director Gilbert said that this planning is good because we can mesh it together with the future land use map and Comprehensive Plan. PRD is restricted to certain places and everything else is AR or residential.

Alton Turner. Lot width matters. Curb and gutter, underground water, etc.

Flag lots. More discussion. Will come up with suggestions. Gilbert said that there is a difference between major subdivisions and minor subdivisions. Set a percentage if in a major subdivision. None if a minor subdivision.

Consensus that the commissioners are ok with adding zoning districts.

Notices and postings of properties for rezoning. There has to be a sign on every road frontage. Now state law just requires this to be in a prominent location. Mailed notices on all rezonings and special exceptions for a half mile. There is no law on this. Some places require a quarter mile rather than half of a mile. Some of 500 or 1,000 feet. 56 cent stamp plus the envelope and the time that it takes to send out needs to be calculated on this. What are you comfortable with? ½ rezoning and ¼ special exception is the current code. May need to go up on fees to cover what we are doing now with the price of stamps, etc. Currently working on one that requires 215 letters. Lots of discussion. Maybe do ¼ mile on everything? Adjustment of fees? The $200 rezoning fee isn’t covering the cost of running the ads plus the work done to send out all of the notices.

Discussion on the differences between Hwy 109, Hwy 74, Hwy 341, and Hwy 19 and zoning. Hwy 341 and Hwy 74 are more industrial. Need to adjust the overlay to distinguish between retail and industrial.

Exterior building materials. Vinyl. Chairman Johnson brought this up at a prior commission meeting. The overlay has design standards in it.

Transfer of rezoning. Revert back to what it was before it was sold. Morton said that automatic rezoning still has to go through rezoning. Better to put conditions/clauses on it. Some say why have a permitted use system if we’re not going to use it? Morton says that he doesn’t he doesn’t believe in automatic reversions. Gilbert said that we have added conditions will control an issue. He doesn’t support a reversion clause based on a change of ownership. Morton said that we need to look at what to do with the Comp Plan and the future land use plan so we are looking at the big picture 30 or 40 years from now.

Gilbert mentioned tying the old and the new together if we create new districts. Grandfathering is an issue though. We can do rezoning that allows them to continue as they are now but rezone for future use.

Walked back over how far out to notify on rezonings, etc. ¼ residential ½ mile manufacturing. Gilbert said that he’s fine leaving this, but he said that the sign placement needs to be changed. Can we meet state law with prominent placement instead of placing a sign on every road frontage?

Fee schedule. $200 isn’t enough. Gilbert said that we are the cheapest for rezoning of anywhere around here. It shouldn’t cost the citizens for anyone to rezone their property. Staff time, ads in the paper, time and materials for this. Residential and commercial are different. They are going to come up with a fee schedule for the commissioners to consider.

Suggestion to combine the Planning Commission and Appeals Boards so people are seeing the same people rather than different boards. Possibility of each Commission member appointing someone from their area so there is diversity on the outlook of who is serving. Rogers pointed out that someone in one area of the county may look at things differently based on what is around them rather. Gilbert pointed out that if things are consolidated, the citizens can attend a meeting before the same board and hear everything rather than going to two different board meetings and then coming before the Commission. Gilbert said that sometimes people don’t show up. Upson has one board and they are paid $40 per meeting when they show up. Variances and special exceptions would be heard by one board instead of two. Morton supports this too. Consensus to combine both boards into one. This also cuts down on postage. There would be something to say if a member doesn’t show up for so many meetings, there would be repercussions. Consensus to pay them something for their time.

Steve Reeves mentioned having board applications that are specific to the boards so we can get qualified people to serve.

Animal Control and Animal Shelter. There is a difference between the two. We are working toward an Animal Shelter. CM Rogers mentioned that there is an urgency to get this moving now rather than letting it happen if it happens now or in 10 years. CM Rogers brought some numbers for running a shelter for them to look at. He asked for feedback on what to do.

The Advisory Board is asking for a full-blown shelter that includes pick up and adoption of animals. We are doing what is required according to state law. Chairman Johnson wants us to stick to our current plan. Upson $281,000. 3 employees recommended. Probably close to $200,000. Same that we are paying for the Fire Department when the Fire Department is a bigger concern right now.

Money is a concern. Keep stressing that we are moving toward this. Under $100,000 now. This would double the budget. We have adopted ordinances in the past in anticipation of moving in this direction without becoming an animal shelter. Cities would help with this when we get to that point. The Advisory Board was praised for their work on this. Commissioners want them to know that they haven’t wasted their time on this.

Morton asked what they want to do on this. Do y’all want to hear Brandon’s plan on this at a meeting? Numbers only mean something if you want to pursue a shelter. Tanya Perkins is the full-time employee. Scott Meyers is the part-time employee. Next step? A better vehicle that is equipped for picking up animals. Then it will take big steps to start the shelter. Volunteers can help, but we have to make sure that we have employees to perform all of the required tasks in the shelter.

Morton says that the cities need to be a part of this discussion so we can study this and look at what it takes to move to the next phase. Also needs to be a part of the Comp Plan. CM Rogers recommends adopt as a whole or hold it. Consensus to hold this and review for now since we don’t have a budget for this right now. It was said that it was very clear from the beginning that we can’t tell you when we will get to a full blown animal shelter. Morton did say however that the Board is obligated to move in that direction. CM Rogers will be looking for a truck for them as the next step.

Rogers and Gilbert are going to work on the suggestions from this meeting and bring it back to commissioners and try to get it right the first time.

There are going to be a lot of moving pieces with combining the boards together. Question on how to find people to appoint them. People can apply for this, but the applications would be split up by district with the commissioner from that district making the nomination for their district.

Commissioner Jenkins asked about 3 acre minimum acreage on commercial. It was added to the list.


Motion to adjourn. Approved 5-0. Meeting was ended at 3:28 p.m.

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