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Changes suggested to city sign ordinance

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POSTED: September 21, 2013 8:30 a.m.

The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission recommended amending Hinesville’s sign ordinance Tuesday to allow for larger wall signs in certain districts. The LCPC also recommended approval on a rezoning petition, several variances and requests for conditional use.
Recommendations made by the LCPC later will go before county and city governments for approval, depending on where the applicants’ sites are located.
LCPC Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage presented the proposed revisions to Hinesville’s sign ordinance. The changes would allow larger wall signs on buildings in areas zoned for office-institutional, office-commercial and central-business use and in downtown development districts. In addition, the amended ordinance would allow larger monument signs in districts zoned for office-institutional use.
Hartage said the revision mandates that the size of a wall sign cannot exceed 3.5 percent of the building front on which it is mounted or 15 feet, whichever is greater.
As for monument signs, the original ordinance states they can be no more than 5 feet high and 30 square feet in sign area, the zoning administrator said. The proposed change would allow monument signs to be 8 feet high and have a 50-square-foot area, she said.
“We hoped this would lessen the rezoning requests from O-I (office-institutional) to C (commercial),” Hartage said.
LCPC zoning analyst Joey Patenaude presented a request by Charlene Harris for a conditional use to operate a youth development and community safe-haven non-profit organization on Limerick Road in Liberty County. Patenaude said Harris would offer pre-K, mentoring, youth development and parenting workshops at the site. The nonprofit organization would be housed in a building that previously was a church, LCPC officials said.
Patenaude said the building is surrounded by trees, creating an ample buffer to block the site from adjoining neighbors’ views.
“Any potential noise would be blocked, not that we anticipate any,” he said.
The site has additional space for parking, pick-up and drop-off, Patenaude added.
Betty Pipkin of Liberty County asked to rezone .98 acres from R-2 (higher density single family dwelling district) to R2A to allow single-wide mobile homes on her property off Hollywood Drive. Patenaude said there were other existing mobile homes in the area — both single- and double-wide — so Pipkin’s request to allow single-wide mobile homes would be compatible. The zoning analyst said the property once was a mobile-home park.
The LCPC recommended approving Wanda and Jefferson Crutchfield’s request to build a free-standing garage within the 10-foot required side-yard setback on their East First Street property. Jefferson Crutchfield told the LCPC he is renovating the house and intends to make it his retirement home.
Hartage presented Lucia Martin’s request to operate a family personal-care home on Shaw Road in Walthourville. The zoning administrator said a maximum of six residents would be permitted in the four-bedroom home. The personal-care home will be licensed and regulated by the state, Hartage said.
She predicts more of these types of facilities will be seen in Georgia communities following state health-care reforms.
Midway resident Mary Scott asked the LCPC to recommend approval of her variance request to allow her to locate a modular building with side and rear setbacks on property off East Oglethorpe Highway. Scott has run a pre-K center for five years and needs room to expand, she said. The LCPC said she would have to install skirting on the building, make it handicap-accessible, place a landing at the rear door and procure an easement from the adjoining property owner, which happens to be Liberty County.
The LCPC also recommended approval on two final plats — one for Griffin Park Phase VI and another for The Reserve at Oak Crest I.
The planning commission also received information on the Bryant tract concept plan and the Navy Federal Credit Union site plan.
“The Bryant tract is not related to Bryant Commons, even through both properties were originally part of the estate of the late Sen. Glenn Bryant,” LCPC Executive Director Jeff Ricketson said. “The Bryant tract is a 7.5-acre tract at the corner of South Main and Veterans Parkway that is owned by members of the Glenn Bryant family. A site plan for a credit union has been submitted for the outparcel on the corner of the Bryant tract.”
The LCPC will hold its next regular monthly meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct 15.

 

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