3/1/2016 BOC Work Session Minutes

MARCH 1, 2016

The Gordon County Board of Commissioners held a Work Session Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Administration Building

Chairman Hood called the meeting to order.

The Board discussed each item on the agenda for the Regular Meeting and made no changes.

County Attorney Ledbetter advised that the rezoning request for Martha Ann Haley, was considered at the last meeting and the Board heard comments at the public hearing during that meeting. The Board tabled the rezoning application until tonight’s Regular Meeting. Site plans were requested to be presented at tonight’s meeting. Attorney Ledbetter explained the definition of Crossroads Commercial zoning which is the most restrictive category. Ms. Haley has offered a 50 ft. buffer strip around the property. A maintained vegetative buffer might be appropriate. A petition was presented from neighbors asking for some restrictions about what can be built on the property. The Board has the option to approve the request for rezoning, approve the rezoning with stipulations, or deny the rezoning.

Cpt. Matt Smith, Executive Administrative Officer with the Georgia National Guard came before the Board to give an update about the National Guard. Cpt. Smith gave a presentation updating and explaining the role and capabilities of the National Guard and its willingness to help Gordon County in any way regarding homeland security. He would like to re-establish the National Guard’s connection with the local community.

The Board reached a consensus for naming the newly acquired old bank building; the name will be the Gordon County Government Plaza. No name was chosen that was submitted by employees, so a drawing was held and Sally Johnston’s name was drawn as the winner of the $50 for submitting a name for the building.

County Attorney Ledbetter spoke to the Board concerning considering an amendment to the ordinance that would allow backyard chickens on small pieces of property. Attorney Ledbetter said he had attended a Bird Flu Seminar Program that advised that chickens on a ½ acre lot were creating a potential disaster. The commercial chicken operations have contingency plans in place in the event that there is an outbreak of Bird Flu. There is no vaccine and there is nothing to do except contain an outbreak. The idea of backyard birds is very concerning to the Department of Agriculture of the United States and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The experts advise that the backyard birds need to be contained in covered enclosures so that they do not come into contact with excrement from waterfowl, which is how the bird flu is spread. The State Veterinarian issued recommendations that all poultry with outside access must be moved into bio-secure housing immediately, if that’s not possible, you should notify the Department of Agriculture. The County has always advocated that backyard birds be contained, but now they need to be contained within a shelter. These are the findings of the County Attorney for the Boards consideration.

Attorney Ledbetter also spoke concerning developing an indoor shooting range ordinance. There is a wide range of ordinances in different counties and many have requirements about bullet stops, prevention of bullet escape, indoor safety and security, noise and containment of lead, hours of operation, etc. Some counties require a special use permit. The attorney will continue to look at those different ordinances. The planning session for the Board is coming up in a few weeks and that might be a time to look at those and see where we want to go with this.

Commissioner Gazaway made a motion to close the Work Session. Commissioner Sexton seconded the motion and all voted aye.

There being no further business the Work Session adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

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