Newspaper Archive of
The Harris County Journal
Hamilton, Georgia
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December 3, 2009     The Harris County Journal
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December 3, 2009
 

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PAGE 2-A HARRIS COUNTY JOURNAL - THURSDAY, DEC. 3, 2009 Commission Discussing New Zoning Ideas for Conservation Subdivisions By PAM AVERY The Harris County Commission spent almost another two hours Tuesday evening in what promises to be a lengthy and compli- cated process. In October, Ralph CaUaway, representing the Callaway family, submitted a request to add a large conservation zoning to the coun- ty's zoning regulations, thereby opening the door for conservation developments (CDYand large planned conservation developments (LPCD). At that time, the board heard CaUaway's presentation and began reviewing the 40- page document. Conservation subdivisions, according to the proposed ordinance "are a form of resi- dential development which permits flexibil- ity of design in order to promote environ- mentally sensitive uses of the land." A MINIMUM size of 250 acres is required and "protected open space, managed in accor- dance with an approved management plan, shall comprise at least 40 percent of the total tract. County tax benefits are available for the protected open space." And Tuesday evening, the board contin- ued to be skeptical of taking land off the tax digest and protecting it "in perpetuity."' "I have a real problem with telling peo- ple who haven't even been born yet that his land cannot be used," said Commissioner Joe Manning. Callaway responded saying, "In all the research we have done and after talking to all the people we have, I have found nothing that validates this as a problem; but there is no way we can guarantee the tax base will remain the same. I don't' know how to satis- fy your concerns. If you do not think this is good for the county, we should stop the dis- cussion now." Callaway repeated his family's intent was more about "the legacy of these 8,000 acres of land...this is more restrictive than a Community Unit Planned Development (CUPD) and allows us to work with the coun- ili li!iliiiiiiliiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiii~ ! iili~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~iiiiiiii iilili ii i i~ii i~iiii iiiiiiiiiii~ii iii ili ill iii iii iii iii iii iii iiiiiiii!iiii iii iii iii iii iii ii~iii~iiiiiii iii ~ ~ii iii iii iii ili iii iEiiil iii iliiiiii~ ~ iliii iii ~ ~iiii~i~iil iii iii !ii i!ofliiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiliiiiiiiiii iii iii iii iii iiiiiiiiTi~ii iiilii iii iii iii iii iii iii iii iiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiii iiiii iiii iiiii iiiiii iii ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiii ii ii! iiiiiiiiiiii!iii i i !ii !ii!iiiiiiiii!iiiii!iii 8 !iiiii i i!iiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiii ty better.' COUNTY MANAGER Danny Bridges answered saying, "The value and taxability of this land is a concern to me. I believe you car, do the same thing you want to do under a CUPD." Callaway responded that the "problem with a CUPD is we don't have the money for a master plan and therefore cannot attract serious developers." Bridges responded that there "needs to be give and take here. Something must be done to make up for the .lack of tax dollars. There needs to be language that guarantees no loss of tax revenue." COMMISSION CHAIR Harry Lange and Commissioner Charles Wyatt echoed Bridges' concerns, both adding they felt there was no way to gauge how quickly land would fall off the county tax digest. In addition to problems with losing tax dollars, the board is very skeptical of the wording "use-by-right", which is defined as a "use that is allowed within a zoning district without any special approval." County Attorney John Taylor told the board they "needed to be very leery of this concept. You don't need to give up your approval of anything." Another work session is scheduled for the January 5 commission meeting. Commission-, Gives Nod to Taxidermy and Radio Tower By PAM AVERY The Harris County Commission put the finishing touches on several items Tuesday evening, giving the nod to two new businesses in the county. Following almost seven months of negotiations, the board approved a rezoning amendment to allow commu- nications or public utilities to locate on property, which does not front on a county (public) road, but is accessi- ble from a private or ease- ment road in an adjoining county. The decision opened the door to approve an applica- tion for a special use permit by Davis Broadcasting, Columbus, for a radio tower structure on 50.169 acres on the west side of the Talbot County line and just north of the Muscogee County line: The land is currently owned by MeadWest-vaco. The board approved both items by a unanimous vote. IN ANOTHER zoning matter, the board unani- mously approved another amendment to the county zoning ordinance, to change where a taxidermy business is allowed from C-1, C-3, & C- 4 to A-l, M-l, and M-2, with a special use permit to coin- cide with deer processing. Following a unanimous vote to approve an application in the name of Charles Boren to rezone .5 acres at 9040 Georgia Highway 208, Waverly Hall, from C-4 to A- 1, the commission voted to approve an application in the name of Ronnie Reeves and Bryan Becker for a special t~$e ~efltlit 10t deer~process- ing and taxidermy at the same address. IN OTHER business, the board: *Unanimously approved the 2009-2029 Comprehensive Land use Plan that has been under scrutiny for over a year. *Voted to accept Brenthaven Court, Brenthaven Way, and Creek View Way in Brenthaven Subdivision. *Voted to accept Shelby Court, Claudette Court, Alden Court, and a portion of Ross Road in Timberland Subdivision. *Unanimously approved a $13,000 expenditure to install new wells at the land- fill. Holiday Women Helping Women Express Way Event FREE refreshments FREE shampoo and styling trials with Paul Mitchell Hair Care products FIND the right shampoo, conditioner, straighmer, color, perm and more from an on site Paul Mitchell Educator SAVE 20% on new Paul Mitchell Tools when you donate old blow dyers, flat irons and curling irons. WIN a Paul Mitchell Express IonSmooth ($220 value) with raffle ticket purchase FREE upgrade to Spa Ritual ($20 value) for next appointment when you pre- book and pre-pay WIN Paul Mitchell gift baskets and much more Monetary donations for Hope Harbour also will be accepted Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Styling Loft at Chipley Village Pine Mountain, Georgia For more information, please call 706-663-8313. Benefitting Hope Harbour, an emergency shelter based in Columbus and Harris County providing security, crisisJntervention and advocacy for adults and children who are victims of domestic violence. All gently used hair care tools will be donated to Hope Harbour to help victims feel better about themselves. In addition, The Styling Loft will be providing a day of beauty for Hope Harbour residents. Take care of yourself while taking care of others! FREE Holiday Hair Care Event The Styling Loft December 10, 5-8 pm By Pam Avery WE DID IT! - Kip Smith handidly defeated Steve Earles in Tuesday's runoff election by a 65 to 35 percent margin and won the Georgia House seat his father, Vance Smith, Jr., held for 17 years. Pictured after hearing the news are the new District 129 representa- tive and his wife, Caroline. Smith Wins Runoff Continued from Page 1A Earles' 1,065. In acknowledging his vic- tory, Smith was quick to say he "had some very big shoes to fill. It will be an honor and a challenge to live up to the example of fine leadership that my father has set in the Georgia House. I have watched him serve with integrity since I was 10 years old, and I will strive to do the same. "I consider this win a vic- tory for everyone involved in our campaign - I am extremely honored people turned out not once, but twice, and chose me to rep- resent them. I will forever be grateful to all who difl the~ part." EARLES EXPRESSED his gratitude to his wife "Cindy, friends, neighbors, and family who worked along with me, as well as the vot- ers who went to the polls and voted for me. Tonight, the campaign ended, and I congratulate the Smith family on their victo- ry.'~ Asked if he will seek elected office again, Earles said, "I lost this election, but not my interest possibly in public service. For the pres- ent time, I have been asked to help with several other conservative movements on state and national levels." THE SPECIAL election to fill Vance Smith's unex- pired term was set by Gov. Sonny Perdue last summer when Smith was named com- missioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Four candidates - Kip Smith, Steve Earles, Earl Davis, and Jerry Luquire - ran in the November 3 elec- tion. Smith was only about 60 votes shy of the 50 percent plus i majority needed to win the seat, thereby throwing the election into a run-off with Earles, who came in sec- ond in November with 22 per- cent of the vote. GDOT Commissioner Smith said he was "very proud of his son but the deci- sion to run was his decision and the job is his job." The younger Smith will take over the District 129 seat in January, serving in just one session, about three months, before he must decide if he is going to run again. Qualifying is in April, the pri- mary is in July, and the gen- eral election is November. Voters Turnout to Cast Runoff Votes By Pam Avery VOTING AGAIN! - Robert Wolford was one of the 140 votes Kip Smith received in the Whitesville precinct in Tuesday's run-off. He won in that area by a 62 to 38 per- cent margin over Steve Earles. School Board Meets at Different Time By PAM AVERY December 8 at 6:30 p.m., in the Central Office Auditorium in Hamilton. On this month's agenda are the usual reports for curriculum, technology, and facilities, in addition to several budget and employee insurance items on which the board will vote. Included on the board's list of things to address is the budget develop- ment timeline for FY 2011. The Harris County School Board is meet- ing on the first and second Tuesday this month rather than the usual Thursday evening times. The board held its work session Tuesday, December at 6:30 p.m. and will conduct its regular business meeting Tuesday,