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Planning and Zoning Board
Public Hearing on the Proposed Ordinances/UDC
Thursday, November 9, 2023 - 6:30 PM
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia

ZEBULON - The Planning and Zoning Board held a public hearing on the proposed changes to the ordinances/Uniform Development Code (UDC) in which every member of the public who wanted to speak was allowed to speak for 3 minutes.

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

Members of the Planning and Zoning Board are: Jason Leatherman, Brandy Loggins, Bryan Pate, Edward "Ed" Penland, and James "Jim" McNair (At Large).

Jeremy Gilbert gave the following history and overview of the process. This process began on January 17, 2023. Workshops have been held with Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Gilbert and County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers making the changes that were suggested by the commissioners and members of the Planning and Zoning Board at the workshops.

Why did we get to where we are and why did we look at other jurisdictions? The ordinance that we have has been pieced together since 1975 to 1985 so the commissioners asked us to pull together a clean draft. He said that they looked at other places to see what they had in order to to prevent us from becoming what the other counties are. This is a safeguard for our county to be what we want Pike County to be.

Current Agricultural-Residential (AR) districts. Some of the things in the current ordinance are less than what we have now. If a minimum of 5 acres, we are not trying to take away from agriculture. We are trying to maintain this agricultural use and put residential districts away from the agriculture to preserve it.

Jason Leatherman, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board. This is not been an easy task. Countless hours have been spent on this. If we listen to each other, we are closer together than we think. We want to preserve what is here. But we have to figure out how to do that in a way that we can all afford to live here.

P&Z members want to discuss first and then open it up to the citizens for 3 minutes each so every person who wanted to speak could do so.


Leatherman. I don’t feel like what is in here represented what we discussed on chickens. No restriction on chickens in AR. 25 is in the current. Jeremy said that this was the consensus at the past meeting between the BOC and P&Z.

Gilbert. Lots consisting of 5 acres or less is what the 25 is for. Chickens are considered livestock under agricultural definition. *Make a clarification on that one sentence to say no restrictions on 5 acres or more.

Line 16 in AR. It should say lots less than 5 acres. AR is being changed to 5 acres from 3 acres.


Section 8a. Removing Barndominiums. Don’t have an issue with barndominiums.

Section 7. If people have 3 acres they should be able to have 25 chickens like AR.

R1. 2 acres.

Why should they have a fence on a 3 acre lot but not a 2 acre lot. Consensus to put a fence in there with a 10 chicken limit.

Purpose is medium density, single family homes. Churches, utility station, etc. are in here. Those are listed as special use permits with federal laws so they can’t be prohibited from locations.

R1 and R2.

Can grow your own garden. AR as well. AR allows roadside stands under 500 feet.


Consensus to add the line about properly maintaining feed, etc. to keep the mice from getting too bad in R1.

Discussion of modular homes. It is stick built and brought to the site and built there. Making sure not a trailer park.

1 acre lots close to the city. Can we say that people have to have sewer if we don’t provide it? The county has a water and sewer authority so maybe. For now, set this to the side so they can look at it.


Pawn shop or tattoo shop are prohibited. It would be text amendment if you want to remove a prohibited use. This could not be done by a variance. Consensus to stay like it is.

Can carry over similar or compatible use language under a special use permit if needed outside of the overlay district.

Add that it is up to the Planning and Zoning Board about how the business goes with the either or on parking for new businesses and landscaping requirements in the Overlay District.

If we find grammatical errors, should we just email them to you? Yes. County Attorney Rob Morton. In the very beginning of Pike County Code, if there are errors, this doesn’t require a text amendment so they can be corrected at any time. Including where one section goes to another and needs a correction. Tried to make sure that the cross-references have been changed. Anywhere that there are reminders for Rob Morton, there will be things that are addressed before the final adoption to ensure that they don’t miss something from new state laws.

Mother in Law Suite.

Limit to 1500 square feet.

Event Center.

The parking does not have to be paved.

Public Hearing

No for or against. Everyone can speak for 3 minutes or less.

Mark Camp. Concern about Chestnut Oak and if they were not allowed to have events for a year and go back to the old rules. Many of the rules tonight are going to affect children’s events. We don’t need anything that will prevent kids from being able to take a project home with ag education and children’s projects with chickens, rabbits, gardening, etc. If he got sick and had to stop with cows for a year, he would be prevented to have cows. He was cut off before he was done.

Brandy Baity. Youth Ag programs. 10th in the nation FFA in 2018. Limits on ag on less than 5 acres. Supervised ag projects. 279 in high school and 75 in middle school. Over 52% live on 4 acres or less. This would affect them. Hogs are an issue. Urge them to reconsider this and the effects on school children.

Cynthia Klein. 5 years here and came from Coweta. New residential zoning maps makes about 1/3 of the county and could be divided into 1 acre lots. Limitation on those between 3 to 5 acres hurts families. Being self-sustaining means having a food source which can include chickens. Commercial growth. Proposed building on 341. If we are looking at commercial growth over that way, what are your specific interests personally in bringing those in. Also cut off.

Mary Lou Perry. What if the language was specific that if a MIL suite was limited to adults so not overcrowd the schools.

Ray Brumbelow. Representing agriculture in the county. Wants to keep the rural environment here. 23 acres on Chestnut Oak would be hurt because not 25 acres. Asked them to reach out to Farm Bureau, Ag Business, and Cattleman’s Authority about these ordinances.

Alicia Hines. What do you mean when you say, What should Pike County look like? We want change to be reasonable to everyone. Asked for clarification on changes in acreage for chickens, livestock, agriculture. Blake Blount. There are very few young people here tonight. There’s probably a lot of reasons for that, but it is also unaffordable for many to live here. This proposed code is a culprit of this. Square footage minimums limit young families from moving in here. The median existing home price is about $464,000 right now. That’s $3,500 a month. Median household income here is about $6,000 a month. That is unattainable. This is limiting families with young children living here. He asked to have these limits removed. He was stopped before he was finished speaking.

Cherry Thomas. Farmer in this county. She said that it is extremely important not to limit ag in these smaller tracts like for a sheep, etc. The event centers don’t need to be paved. PRD. How big is this going to be and what are the restrictions? Asked where things will be. This is a lot for citizens to be process. The more we can find easily to reference easily would be good.

Vonda Blount. I feel like y’all are well meaning but I don’t understand why in a county like ours where we know our reps, I don’t understand why so much control should be exerted. I don’t understand why it would matter what happens to a MIL Suite after the MIL is gone. Whether it’s rented or not. It will be taxes. Don’t understand why regulations on a subdivision when you could say as little as possible and subdivisions limit agriculture. If this is county-wide, there isn’t freedom to anywhere else. I don’t understand why we want to regulate so much. Her kids have had issues trying to afford to buy a house in this county. The standards are so high. She was cut off.

Billy Blount. Lived here is whole life. Appreciates their time and effort. I support all that has been said. Words and actions matter. Decisions you make, recommendations, etc. will affect others. Said that son makes good money but can’t afford to live here. How much money do we have to spend? Do we want to be regulated? Be sure that when you walk away from this, you did your best.

Patricia Beckham. She wants her son to come back here and be able to afford to live in Pike County. We also need senior living places. Impact Fees. Change is inevitable. But she wants to see it affordable to everyone to live in Pike County.

Cathy Moore. When did you decide that it needed to be 3 acres to have a house on for a single family? Is there a copy of the draft that I can read? [Note from the Editor: Here is a copy of the ordinances before the changes that were proposed in this meeting: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/Draft_UDC_10-17-23-combined-compressed.pdf]

Terry Leonard. Drawn here because it was a rural community. You make this decision on how to open this up to all this development, what will happen in 20 years? Ag community. You’re faced with a tough decision.

Bo Huddleston. Asking about permits on fences over 4 feet high. Any farm fence, we have to get a permit? Fayette County transplant. He’s seen it firsthand. Sewer will bring growth. Thank you for serving on this board. Feels like a 200 year county that is trying to decide its fate in 2 months. Said, I don’t know that we need to rush into this.

Kristen Cudnohufsky. The development coming in. She got in when the getting was good because her family wouldn’t be able to move in now. With these counties, rezoning about 1/3 of the county for residential building. Minimum house size appears to be 1500 to 1800 feet. You are taxes on square footage. There is an outrage in the county about taxes. Now bringing in developers that are going to build and affect everyone around them. At one of the first meetings, there was such an outcry over chickens. Citizens were told at that meeting that they couldn’t speak until now. She was stopped before she was done.

Annie Moss Hines. Has always lived in a small house when living here. This is new to her. Worried about how taxes are going to affect people. Get it right for our sake. Pike County has changed so much.

Cheryl Cannon(?). I don’t care how many chickens my neighbor has. It’s not the business of the government to know how many chickens I have. Let the subdivisions have rules and not the county. We have too much government telling us what we can do on our property.

Olivia Holmes. What is so important about chickens? Just a few months ago, everyone needed chickens because of the price of eggs.

Sandra Kelly. Saw changes from up towards Atlanta. I pay my taxes and don’t bother my neighbors and they don’t bother me. One of her biggest beefs on this is just a citizen like me has to have 3 acres to build, but how many variances are you giving to these developers? And young people can’t afford to live her. Had concerns about accessory uses that she brought forward.

Rusty ________. Sons are out of school but can’t afford to live here. We had 10 acres plus tracts. Variances were given around where they live to cut tracts of land get cut down to small acreage. What used to be farms isn’t anymore.

Closed the floor for public comment to address concerns.

According to what Mark Camp is saying, it will revert back after a year? Jeremy Gilbert. This is a county facility as well as a government facility. Also hosts ag events. Leatherman. If not a government facility, legal nonconforming use. Ceased for more than 12 consecutive months, then have to meet the new ordinance. Section 403. Morton. The intent may not have stopped. Gilbert. 3 acres AR now. 5 acres if adopted. Any lot under 5 acres would be a legal lot and go by the same rules.

Concerns about paved parking lots. Grandfathered in? They were going to ask Mark Camp to come back up but concern was voiced, If you allow one, you’ll have to allow everyone.

Brandy Baity. Livestock under the 5 acres. Jeremy said that that simplest would be to make this a special exception like the current ordinances with a special use permit. Suggested accessory use with a special use. Not saying that you can’t, but that require people to come before the board to allow livestock. No limitation over 5 acres.

Why limitations at all? If people put 40 pigs on a small and it affects neighbors, then code enforcement would address it, or it can be addressed through a civil suit without the county being involved. A lot of discussion about nuisance law and how it would be handled and whether there should be any kind of limitation on livestock throughout the county. Special use in RR too?

It was stressed that nobody on the board has a special interest in anything that has been discussed. [Note from the Editor: It is way too easy to throw rocks at people who are serving on boards. I honestly think that there is a possibility that many are serving in a position that is WAY more than they thought they signing up for! Going through these ordinances was 8-10 hours of reading for me. And I’m just writing this up rather than actually being behind the table facing the public.]

Discussion of reasons for high property taxes including property values are high, lack of industrial, etc. in the county, the schools, etc. Looking to offset the problem of not collecting enough taxes to pay for what we use and allow commercial and industrial to be built up to help with taxes. We can’t stop development, but we can control and guide it. The board is trying to do this. We’re trying to look out for the best interest for everyone overall. These decisions are going to affect us all for the next 20 years, and we have to have rules because people won’t do what they’re supposed to.

A member said that the Chief Tax Appraiser was asked, How many single family homes are under $250,000? 7,499 homes total. 5,059 are valued at under $250,000. Over 70% of homes are under this. They would probably sell for more than that now, but we can’t control the market. We are trying to manage the growth in the county with developers coming in here to build.

Also said that we are trying to put some rules in place to keep us from becoming Henry or Clayton County by trying to control the building because we can’t stop it. And houses are just not affordable now. Trying to keep affordable housing with 1,500 square feet, but it just isn’t affordable now. Not here or anywhere.

Thank you to everyone who spoke from the heart. We are trying to make this right. Thank you for coming out.

Another member spoke and said that his whole being here on this board was to do what was best for the county and not for any group of people or for himself. He wants to live here and hunt and fish and raise livestock. Everyone in the community has been invited to attend all of these meetings.

www.pikecoga.com Go to Resources, Ordinances, and then click on the UDC in the black box at the top of the page. Or go here to download a copy: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/Draft_UDC_10-17-23-combined-compressed.pdf

Said that the county is not rushing through this and have been working on this for a year.

Why not let HOA’s handle this? If they don’t collect dues, then nothing will be managed or regulated. That’s why we have rules.

Impact fees are where they are because it is designed to offset the burden on the Sheriff’s Office, etc. so current residents don’t have to pay these. Impact Fees are not part of these changes. 2006 was the last time that we did an evaluation on Impact Fees. This will be completely separate from this. RFP’s have been sent out for bids on this. Hoping to kick this off at the beginning of the year.

Permits for fencing. This is in our current ordinances. Anything over 4 feet tall requires a permit? This has been required for a long time, but the $50 permit fee isn’t paying for the time, gas, mileage, etc. Consensus to take out the fence permitting process from our ordinances.

Stressed that the board and this county are trying to stop having so many requests for variances.

Gilbert. No property is changing its zoning from what it is now to anything else. If it is R18 or R20, it will be R1 on the map now. Renamed them into one district.

PRD. We will no longer have this. It will become R2 with min 1 acre lot size. It’s in the existing ordinances. If your property is zoned AR today, you will continue to be AR. The only way that a property becomes RR is to come in and ask to be rezoned. This was created to try to remove the subdivision aspect In AR, if you want anything greater than 3 lot divisions, it has to be more than 10 acres. If less than 10 acres, it will require a rezoning. That will notify neighbors about the public hearing that will be heard by county.

A new zoning map will be part of this process too. Stressed that we are not changing anyone’s current zoning.

Walked back through everything and then made a motion to approve UDC with the recommended changes. Approved 4-0.

Motion to adjourn. 9:34 p.m.

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