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Columbia County Commission approves monthlong rezoning moratorium

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 8:51 PM
Last updated 11:19 PM
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The Columbia County Com­mission on Tuesday approved a monthlong moratorium on nearly all rezonings.

Officials wanted the moratorium on nonresidential rezonings while they clean up language in ordinances regarding the uses allowed in some zoning districts.

Planning and Engineering Services Director Richard Harmon said that at present, someone could build a slaughterhouse or rock quarry in the Evans Town Center area. Obviously, he said, such
businesses don’t belong in that area.

The commission approved a first reading of ordinance changes to permitted uses. A second and final reading likely will win approval when the commission meets again July 17.

That also will be the date the moratorium ends.

Also at the meeting, the commission tentatively set new fees for several services offered by Planning and Engineering. The new fees primarily affect builders.

Fees include $150 for a final plat; $615 for a major revision to a planned unit development, general rezonings, variances and variations; $880 for some rezonings; and $10 to get a CD or DVD on zoning information.

It was the first time in more than 30 years that county officials revised such fees, Harmon said.

A final reading for the new fee schedule will be July 17. If approved, the new fees would take effect immediately.

In other meeting news, commission Chairman Ron Cross made his final selection for the new county Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors.

Cross picked CVB board veteran and banker Rick Crawford to fill the last seat. Fellow commissioners confirmed that selection.

Other members of the newly formed, seven-member board were chosen last month. They are hoteliers Surinderjit Singh and Ken Shah, real estate agent Laurie Vanover, restaurateur Aubrey Nesbitt, retiree Chris Noah and journalist Jennifer Miller.

The initial 12-member CVB board disbanded in April, but not before changing the bylaws to decrease the size to seven members appointed by the commission. Previously, CVB employees or the board recruited members.

Crawford, Singh, Shah, Vanover and Nesbitt all belonged to the previous board. Only Noah and Miller are new.

Members of the new board will serve until Dec. 31. The commissioncan then choose to reappoint them or find someone else.

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David Parker
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David Parker 06/20/12 - 08:59 am
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Don't know if this hijacks

Don't know if this hijacks the thread but my observations show that when something like Magnolia Trace is on the table and residential property is at stake, a moratorium was not considered, rather it was assumed by the commission that everyone wanted apartments. I don't know if that translates to the perception of the CC property owners being dumb, but it is what it is.

However, when the same situation of inappropriate/unwanted development could potentially threatening the acreage in front of the Government complex, commissioners flip the script to control exactly what can and cannot happen with that land.

I can understand cronyism being involved and people wanting to make money from teh MT development, but from the commission's perspective, the CC residents are the "beneficiaries". I don't think that is true and is very presumptuous of the commish. The only arguement that is plausible is that the county is tapped on funds and needed to partner to get financial resources at the expense of the property owners. Kind of a greater good scenario. Although CC is pretty well-off on resources so that theory is blown. Help me understand somebody.

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