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Here’s what happened during the Bulloch Commission 03/01/22 meeting.

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Call to Order, Welcome Media and Visitors – Chairman Roy Thompson
Invocation and Pledge – Commissioner Anthony Simmons
Roll Call – All members present

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Approval of Zoning Agenda

Daniel W. and Angela K. Adams submitted an application to rezone 5.5 acres from AG-5 (Agricultural 5 acres) to HC (Highway Commercial) for the use of sales and service of utility trailers. The property is located on Hwy. 67

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Planning & Zone Staff recommended DENIAL of this application.
The Planning & Zoning Board voted 5-0 to DENY this application in December 2021 and February 2022.

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  • The Bulloch County Joint Comprehensive Plan indicates that the property is in a rural-neighborhood area where only R-40 and R-80 zones are recommended.
  • There are primarily rural residential and agricultural uses at adjacent and nearby properties. However, there is some limited commercial development at SR 46 and at Brooklet Denmark Road.
  • Values for adjacent properties may not necessarily be enhanced by the proposed development unless aesthetic restrictions are required, and, if enforcement of governmental land use and property maintenance regulations is applied.
  • No information on potable water or fire suppression is addressed in the application. On-site water supply would be required. Same for septic.
  • Given the type of the development, access and traffic impact will need to be determined by the GDOT

SUPPORT

During Tuesday’s meeting, Tony Crosby spoke on behalf the property owner as he is the listing agent. He discussed the county’s comprehensive plan which reads out that the plan encourages entrepreneurship with commercial and industrial sites. He also noted that another property is zoned commercial approximately 200 yards from the site proposed for the Adams property prospect. Crosby closed by suggesting to commissioners that the property is too small for industrial development and unfit for residential home building.

Daniel and Kim Adams also addressed commissioners and implored them to grant the variance in the spirit of supporting small businesses.

OPPOSITION

A resident with property adjacent to the prospective property said she and her family own all of the adjacent property. They oppose the rezone because of the impact it will have on land that should be preserved ‘for the lifestyle of Bulloch County,’ per the comprehensive plan. She also expressed concerns about:

  • GDOT reports of daily travel totaling 11,897 cars,
  • the current placement of the property does not allow a legal left hand turn into or out of
  • the close proximity of wetlands,
  • negative impacts on surrounding land because she was recently approached about purchases of her property, but they don’t want it if the property is rezoned,
  • other uses permitted under the rezone classification, including auto salvage yards

Another individual spoke in opposition asked commissioners to consider ‘what is already known,’ including:

  • commercial zones already exist on Highway 67 without the need to rezone where crossroads already exist.
  • rezoning near active agricultural uses,
  • there are other available properties in the existing commercial zones

COMMISSION COMMENTS

Rushing: He said the county engineer and another county employee were at the location Tuesday and noted the driveway could be moved, if necessary and if approved by GDOT.

County Attorney Jeff Akins reminded commissioners to avoid wading into the issue of the private property concerns and easements between the two landowners.

Gibson asked if Adams planned to install his own well and septic tank. Adams confirmed he would.

Chairman Roy Thompson called for a motion to be made to move forward. After a long silence and a second request for a motion, Commissioner Jappy Stringer made a motion to approve the request with conditions recommended by P&Z. The measure passed unanimously.

P&Z recommended the following conditions:

https://www.thegeorgiavirtue.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/conditions-Adams-utility-trailers.pdf

R & H Development Company, Inc. submitted an application to rezone 42.67 acres from AG-5 (Agricultural 5 acres) to R-25 (Residential 25,000 square feet) for a new single family residence subdivision — Silverleaf– with 45 lots. The property is located on T H Lee Road.

The proposed price would be $250,000 homes with a green space park, paved streets, and community water.

County staff noted the following:

  • There is no evidence that the proposed change in use may injure or detract from existing neighborhoods

P&Z voted 5-0 to recommend approval of this application with conditions based on the following concerns/impacts:

SUPPORT

James Anderson spoke in favor of the application, highlighting the plans for the neighborhood.

OPPOSITIONS

Judy McCorkle referenced a 2007 and 2008 rezone request on a parcel just north of the one up currently. She said it was twice denied by Commissioners because the property was not suitable for the request in the same area and it was rezoned by the same property owner. Commissioners finally gave approval of the rezone in 2011, but the same developer never developed a single home in 11 years, McCorkle said.

Another landowner, McCorkle’s son-in-law, spoke against the rezone request based on the following concerns:

  • the unavoidable increase in traffic;
  • the fact that the 2007 rezone denial said the access to the road/lots was inadequate for public safety, which has not changed;
  • the departmental review indicates the ISO rating will increase for current homeowners – from a ‘2’ to a ‘9,’ which will negatively impact existing landowners;
  • across Clito Road, another property was recently rezoned to R-25 for the same developer, even though it was zoned for county open space, which furthers his concern about too much development.

He also asked commissioners to confirm they did not receive campaign contributions from the developer because that portion of the zoning application was not completed.

Bill T. Akers also spoke in opposition of the land rezone. “Where do we stop with these houses? Soon you’re going to have to have a helo-pad to get out of there. It already takes a while to turn on the road as it is,” he said. Akers also emphasized his concerns about the necessary law enforcement personnel to patrol the area.

SUPPORT

Robbie Bell was given an opportunity to rebut what the opposition said. He addressed McCorkle’s comments, saying the property was not developed after the rezone in 2011 because of the recession. “It’s only been the last 2 or 3 years that we’ve seen a really active real estate market in Bulloch County,” Bell said.

With regard to EMS and the Sheriff’s Office, Bell said, “They’re two miles down the road. I don’t see how that’s a problem.”

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Gibson asked when the developer expected to begin construction. Bell told him the property would take a year to engineer and design followed by time to pave the road before they begin construction.

“I’m assuming the economy will hold up, if I had these lots today, I could sell them. But I would say I hope two years,” Bell said.

Ultimately, when Chairman Thompson called for a motion, the application was approved unanimously.

The conditions proposed are below.

https://www.thegeorgiavirtue.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/anderson-subdivision-lot-application.pdf

Approval of General Agenda for Bulloch Commission 03/01/22 Meeting

Unanimous approval.

Public Comments

Marcus Toole made an announcement regarding an upcoming Habitat for Humanity event this coming Saturday – March 5, 2022 – from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The items on the consent agenda are voted on as a whole through a single motion. The agenda passed unanimously.

  1. Minutes of Feb 9, 2022 11:00 AM
  2. Minutes of Feb 15, 2022 8:30 AM
  3. Minutes of Feb 17, 2022 4:30 PM
  4. Motion to approve a contract for Splash in the Boro Summer Marketing/Media purchases through Davis Marketing Company
    1. Splash in the Boro Waterpark & Aquatics Center utilizes an outsourced marketing company for summer advertising and marketing. DMC would consult and manage all of the Splash in the Boro media including social media, traditional media, and more. They also would design brochures, flyers, email blasts, and tv/radio commercials to boost attendance for the 2022 season.

      Also included in the contract is the Advertising Buy Plan. This is the amount that DMC would pay to thirdparty advertising media for spots on their station/websites. This is a direct buy….no percentage of this is kept by DMC…it is paid directly to the vendors through DMC.

      The total of this contract is $21,846 and is budgeted in the Splash in the Boro Advertising line-item budget.
      VIEW THE CONTRACT
  5. Motion to Approve Bid for Refurbished Reel Mowers
    1. County has been leasing refurbished reel mowers on a yearly lease or a 3-year lease since 2005. The current lease runs out 8/15/22.
    2. Bids were sent out bids for refurbished reel mowers on 1/27/22 with a bid opening on 2/10/22. One bid from Greenville Turf & Tractor, Inc., was received for John Deere Reel Mowers.
    3. After reviewing the bid, Tony Morgan, Parks Division Manager, made a recommendation to accept the bid submitted by Greenville Turf and Tractor using the annual payment option. The lease would begin on August 16,2022
  6. Motion to Approve Purchase of HVAC Pool Heater Replacements
    1. Replacements for HVAC heaters for the competition pool and therapy pool were budgeted in FY2021. Due to the cost of the project, it was divided up into two years with $25,000 per year.

      In October 2020, PO 210083 $21,000 was issued to JD Heating & Air for the purchase and installation of 5 units.

      The remaining units to be replaced are currently scheduled in FY2022 (SPLA18 $25,000). It is the recommendation of Alex Estrada, Splash in the Boro Manager, to use JD Heating & Air to complete the upcoming replacements. They would be able to ensure the same type of units and install to the same caliber as the previous units. For this reason, he did not bid these replacements out.
  7. Motion to approve the purchase of additional training hours for Tyler Technologies software
    1. Approval will allow extensive training on the EnerGov software (building permits, licensing, building inspections, plan reviews, etc.), as well as the other modules hosted by Tyler Technologies. The total amount for the training is $50,000 and funding is available.
  8. Approve a Special Event Permit for the Georgia Police K9 Foundation to host a non-profit event at Ogeechee Technical College, 20 Joe Kennedy Boulevard on June 4 2022 from 5:00pm until 11:00pm
New Business

Motion to approve Grant Acceptance/Supplemental Agreement No. 2 with GDOT

GDOT has awarded Bulloch County an additional $946,400 to cover the increase in costs for wetland mitigation associated with the S&S Greenway Trail Extension. This award falls under the Transportation Alternatives Grant (TAP). Mitigation costs have increased significantly since the initial estimation and these funds will help in covering those costs. This brings the total TAP grant award to $1,993,000.00 with the federal amount totaling $1,594,400 and the local match totaling $398,600.00.

https://www.thegeorgiavirtue.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Bulloch-SS-Greenway-draft-agreement-fed-funds-GDOT.pdf

This item was approved unanimously.

Discussion and/or Action to consider adoption of TAD Policies

These policies and guidelines consist of how to implement applications for TAD public infrastructure assistance for projects either at the I-16/US 301 TAD, or if a new-district wide TAD is proposed elsewhere in the unincorporated areas. There is growing interest by private development in the I-16/US 301 area and elsewhere, where such activity exposes a need for best practices policies. If adopted, future consideration for a TAD Advisory Committee should be considered.

This item was approved unanimously.

Commission & Staff Comments
Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Jessica Szilagyi
Written By

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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