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Council approve ordinance, zoning changes
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During the May 6 City of Hinesville Council meeting, Mayor and Council unanimously approved a new ordinance regarding flea market operations. Prior to the decision, the City of Hinesville did not have an ordinance in place regulating flea markets. After several local business owners came forward and expressed interest in hosting these types of events within the city limits, the City sought to amend its Code of Ordinances to include language and provisions for safely and responsibly operating a flea market in Hinesville.

“Tonight’s decision to move forward with a new flea market ordinance is just another example of how the City of Hinesville supports our local business community,” Hinesville City Manager Kenneth Howard said. “From providing financial assistance to help businesses keep their doors open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to breaking ground on our community’s first and only small business incubator, we are dedicated to helping our local business economy thrive.”

The new flea market ordinance, which takes effect immediately, was created with input provided by local businesses and the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission (LCPC). Drafts of the ordinance were provided to the Hinesville City Council during several regularly scheduled meetings. 

Development of the current ordinance was built upon a previous flea market ordinance, which was in effect from 1986-2000. The newly approved ordinance defines a “flea market” as an open-air or closed market that allows a great variety of vendors to display, sell or exchange personal property. It segments flea markets into two categories: permanent and casual. A permanent flea market site is one which has permanent structures to be used as stalls for vendors and other amenities, such as built-in bathroom facilities that are ADA-compliant. 

This type of flea market site would likely be used often, perhaps on a weekly basis. On a casual site, however, permanent structures are not permitted, and events would be restricted to eight times a year. A casual site may include temporary pop-up tents for vendors. To operate a flea market in Hinesville, be it permanent or casual, an operator would need to be licensed by the City. To obtain a flea market business license, operators would need to fill out and submit a permit application to the City’s Business License Office, located in City Hall at 115 E. M. L. King, Jr. Dr. 

The annual flea market business license fee is $115 for flea markets with up to five employees. Individual vendors at flea markets must also either possess a regular annual business license from the City or they may register with the City through the flea market operator for a $10 daily fee. The new flea market permit application is currently available at the City’s Business License Office.

Mayor and Council approved several zoning and rezoning petitions. One was to rezone 2.47 acres of land from Commercial-2 to R-A-1 (multifamily district for an apartment complex at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Barry McCaffrey Blvd.

They approved to zone 317.67 acres of land, from A-1 (Agricultural Residential District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District) for single-family residential subdivisions and multi-family development(s) off Ruben Wells Road. Mayor and Council approved a request by RTS Homes for a variance from the Floodplain Ordinance for 15 West Tract B, a 107-lot subdivision for single-family houses on 29.81 acres on West 15th Street. They approved the phase two final plat for Columns at Independence North, a 26-lot subdivision on 12.62 acres off Marne Blvd. Mayor and Council approved the authorization to submit the 2021 Annual Action Plan to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which enables continued funding under the Community Development Block Grant. The 2021 program year is July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. The 2021 allocation is $263,728 and has no match requirement.

Mayor and Council approved the purchase for one new 4x2 half-ton pickup truck from J.C. Lewis in the amount of $24,895.28. They also approved to issue a Notice of Intent to Award to Simonton Engineering for RFQ 2021-11 Engineering and Design Services for Water and Sewer Improvements and Expansion for an estimated cost of $19,267,431. They awarded the installation of a well replacement generator for the Airport Road water well to Current Edge Solutions in the amount of $24,200.00. Mayor and Council awarded the Midcoast Hangar Expansion Project to Johnson Llaux at a total cost of $ 1,227,000.00 to build 12 new hangar units.

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