8/13/2018 Planning and Zoning Commission Minutes

AUGUST 13, 2018

The Gordon County Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Gordon County Administration Building for the purpose of hearing variance and zoning change requests.

Members present were:
Jerry Lovelace, Eddie Smith, and Nathan Serritt

Board member Jerry Lovelace called the meeting to order and advised all present of the sign-up sheets available for those who wish to address the Planning Commission on any of the zoning or variance change applications.


A motion was made by Eddie Smith to approve the minutes of the previous meeting of July 9, 2018. Nathan Serritt seconded the motion. All voted aye. The minutes were approved as written.


Board member Jerry Lovelace read variance application #Z18-13, Darryl Haynes, requesting a variance for an 8.759 acre tract located at 864 Pendley Road, S.E., Calhoun. Mr. Haynes represented the request stating he would like to build a 40×60 metal structure for storage and to house his motor home, so needs to increase the size from the maximum 500 square feet to 2,400 square feet, and needing a variance of 1,900 square feet. All adjoining property owners had been notified.

Ursula Richardson, Zoning Administrator for Gordon County, recommended that the variance request identified as Application #V18-13 be approved as requested.

Nathan Serritt made the motion to approve the variance application identified as #V18-13 as requested and grant the 1,900 square foot variance. Eddie Smith seconded the motion. All voted aye. The variance was granted. The thirty-(30) day appeal period was explained.


Board member Jerry Lovelace read rezoning application #Z18-19, Sandra Ledford, requesting to rezone a 9.31 acre tract located at 344 Church Road, Calhoun from R-1 to A-1. Ms. Ledford represented the request explaining that she would like to purchase this property and place a mobile home on the property. The property was rezoned to R-1 for a subdivision in December 1998 and now she would like to revert back to A-1. All adjoining property owners had been notified.

Ursula Richardson, Zoning Administrator for Gordon County, recommended that the rezoning request identified as Application #Z18-19 be approved.

Eddie Smith made the motion to approve the rezoning application identified as #Z18-19 from R-1 to A-1. Nathan Serritt seconded the motion. All voted aye. The recommendation for approval was sent to the Board of Commissioners.


Jim Ledbetter, Gordon County Administrator/Attorney, addressed the Planning Commission, stating that the Board of Commissioners had received a request from Flipper McDaniel for a modification to the ULDC. This has come about because Mr. McDaniel wants to auction the property of the Ward Estate which is over 100 acres in the Hammond Road area. It will be divided into 31 tracts, with over 5 acres per tract. He has bumped up against our ULDC requirements on major sub-division of property that you have to meet certain infrastructure requirements. The issue is with fire protection and Mr. McDaniel has proposed an exception in the ULDC for estate auction plats, that when you have estate auction you could record the plat with stipulations that services may or may not be available depending on how the property is bought. Mr. McDaniel’s dilemma is that with an auction you just don’t know, someone might buy the entire property to someone might buy a combination of tracts or all 31 tracts might sell individually. Putting that infrastructure in for a 6 inch water line and fire hydrants would put a burden on the estate, when it may or may not be necessary. On the other hand, Doug Ralston, Gordon County Fire Chief has come in with the bearer of good news lately that the county’s ISO ratings have improved meaning that the amount of money we receive from the State from insurance premiums tax will go up making it easier to fund the fire department without going into the tax payers millage rate and also our property owners premiums are lower that we are charged by our insurance carriers. At this location, there is only a 4 inch water line meaning that a 6 inch water line would need to be put in plus the cost of the hydrants. Ultimately, are we going to make an exception to our ULDC for auction type events and if we do how do we make sure that infrastructure gets put in? Some of the lots are very deep and no matter what we do a home maybe further away than 1000 feet from a hydrant. Our goal in Gordon County is to get every home within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant for ISO rating purposes. We recently completed a SPLOST initiative putting in 435 fire hydrants at a cost of over $2 million dollars. That and mutual aid agreements with surrounding counties is how we got our ISO ratings down but that could go up.

Doug Ralston, Gordon County Fire Chief, recommends that Mr. McDaniel comply with the ULDC Section 6.03.03. In the past, property that was sold at auction and the infrastructure was not put in place has cost the tax payers with the burden of bringing the property in compliance with new hydrants and increased ISO ratings and the burden should fall upon the developer and not everyone else.

Flipper McDaniel spoke stating that this ordinance states that you cannot sub-divide 30 acres or more into 6 or more 5-acre tracts without meeting the criteria outlined in the ULDC, but it is being allowed everyday because people are coming in with one plat at a time that meets the criteria of 5- acres and 150 feet of road frontage.

But when you propose the plat that shows the multiple tracts, as it should be, it’s not being allowed to be recorded and then the subdivision standards states that you are required to have a fire hydrant every 500 feet, but this ordinance applies to ½ – 1 acre lots and it does not talk about dividing off rural property on an existing county road. What he is proposing to the county is nothing special because it is happens every day, one plat at a time. He wants an amendment that addresses rural estate size tracts, meaning every tract is a minimum of 5 acres with 150 feet of county road frontage, needing no variances and all meeting the A-1 zoning requirements. There are not any water lines down Pendley Road, but there is down Boone Ford Road. People that buy there large rural estate tracts understand that they don’t have all the same services as they would in a smaller lot type development. The ordinance even says where roads are created and this is not the case here, it is dividing up farmland into large tracts. Many people will buy more than one tract. Many other counties have a provision for this type of land division.

Mr. Ledbetter closed in asking is this an appropriate case to wave the ULDC requirements. This is a tough issue and he wants the Planning Commissions to have input. When the fire chief raises an issue about fire protection and the efforts that have been made to improve our ISO ratings and the investment that the community as a whole has made with over $2 million dollars for fire hydrants, do we allow this subdivision? We have to make a decision about public safety in this situation and he looks forward to the Planning Commissions recommendation.

Jerry Lovelace stated that when the whole planning commission could look at and discuss this situation. A motion was made by Nathan Serritt to table until the September meeting. Eddie Smith seconded the motion. All voted aye. The situation will be discussed at the September meeting.


There being no additional business, Nathan Serritt made the motion to adjourn. Eddie Smith seconded the motion. All voted aye. The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

Author: zgregg

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