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Commission tables request for rezoning
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At the Jan. 5, 2022, County Commission meeting, a public hearing was held for a rezoning petition submitted by Joseph A. Brodham to rezone a property on Bill Carter Road from agricultural residential (AR1) to general commercial (B-2) to operate a storage yard for two box trucks, one dually truck, two trailers, a car hauler and an RV.

Brodham said he’s been running a mobile mechanic business since 2018 and

was previously storing his equipment at his other home in Hinesville. He was told the equipment needed to be moved, so he relocated it to this property on Bill Carter Road. He said he originally bought the property to build a home. He said he was told he could either build a home or have it zoned for business, but he could not have both on the same property.

Brodham said he doesn’t do any work from that property; it is only where he stores his equipment.

Liberty Consolidated

Planning Commission Director Jeff Ricketson said the LCPC has recommended the rezoning be disapproved. He said the only properties zoned B-2 are right at the corner of Highway 84 and Bill Carter. The property in question is surrounded by residential homes. Ricketson said other neighbors have expressed their disapproval of it being zoned for business.

Commissioner Marion Stevens alleged that he has seen business being conducted at the property. Commissioner Justin Frasier asked whether this request would be considered spot zoning. He asked what was the purpose of having a comprehensive plan if they don’t plan on sticking to the plan. He said maybe better communication is needed to ensure people who buy property are aware of what it is zoned for and what they can and cannot do with the property.

Ricketson added that if the Board zones it B-2, it could be used for any business purpose, to include repairing vehicles on the property. County Administrator Joey Brown added that B-2 zoning properties are not allowed to have any restrictions placed on them once zoned for business.

Brodham’s wife, Lakeisha, said she had signatures of people who live on Bill Carter that don’t mind the equipment being stored there. She said they don’t want to conduct any business on the property, and the few times a truck may have been parked there was because people were coming to see and talk with her husband because they know him.

“My husband has been working for the TA for 25 years, so they know him,” she said. “They know him and they know his work. They pull in there, yes

they do, but my husband tells them this is just a storage location; if you need me, call my wife and make an appointment.”

She said the only car worked on at the property was her personal car. She said they have plans to build a house there. But Ricketson reminded the Commissioners that if they zone the area B-2, they can’t build a house on the property.

Mrs. Dorothy Mosley said she was born on Bill Carter Road and lives one house away from the property in question. She said she frequently heard a generator running at the property and many trucks that would park in front of the property. She said some people might not want to cause any waves, but she said the community is quiet, and many have supported her decision to oppose the zoning request. She understood everyone needs to make a living but said the equipment needs to be placed elsewhere, not in a residential area.

“Perhaps a solution can be worked out, but why have a Planning and Zoning Committee when we don’t accept their finds?” she asked. Mosley said many in the community oppose the zoning change.

After the public hearing, the Commission voted to table the matter for 30 days to allow time for the petitioners to meet with their neighbors to see if they can come to a resolution on the matter. Commissioner Gary Gilliard voted against tabling the matter.

The Board approved a conditional use petition to place a small ground-mounted solar energy system at a home on Hager Lane. A conditional use permit is required for all ground-mounted solar energy systems, regardless of zoning.

The Board voted to approve the ratification of the new districts after the state’s reapportionment office made a final and small technical change to District 1 for voter anonymity. Stevens went on the record to say that if the County had used the state’s reapportionment office to redraw the districts instead of using an attorney, they could have saved the County the $10,000 they spent. Steven also voted to oppose the ratification.

The Commissioners approved a resolution to increase the hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. The County currently imposes a 5 percent hotel/motel tax. Due to changes at the state level, the County could increase that to 8 percent. Currently, 3 percent goes to general funds and 2 percent goes to tourism. The newly added 3 percent will be split in half, with half funding tourism and the other half used for capital projects that promote tourism, such as the Community Event Center the Commission has already considered. County attorney Kelly Davis said the resolution will be submitted to the state’s General Assembly for enactment at the next upcoming regular session.

Commissioner Stevens asked what the procedure was to submit a request to change the name of Hinesville’s VA Clinic to honor two men from Liberty who are listed on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.



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