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County buys land for future fire, emergency headquarters
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County officials had looked at imposing property tax after the on-post housing manager opened rentals to everyone, not just military families.

At their June meeting the Liberty County Commission took another step toward implementation of the countywide fire protection plan by purchasing a site for the new fire and emergency services headquarters.

The commissioners paid $69,500 for 6.5 acres at Miller Park on Highway 84 east of Hinesville. The county had about one acre there used as recreation fields and the new land will allow space for them to expand as well as the new building.

In April the commission bought 2.6 acres near the intersection of Islands Highway and Fort Morris Road for use as a site for an East Liberty fire station. The county paid $80,000 for that property.

In other business the commissioners heard a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance that would allow flexibility for coastal property landowners wanting to construct accessory structures like garages.

The existing law provides for garages in rear yards only but Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission chief Jeff Ricketson explained the definition of front yard as the side facing the road or street needs to be changed.

Waterfront property owners may consider the side of their homes facing a body of water to be the front yard. In this situation they would not want to build a garage or other structure between the home and the river as required by existing regulations.

The proposed amendment the commissioners are studying would allow structures on waterfront property to be built on the side of the house facing a road or street, officially the rear yard. The draft gives the LCPC authority to approve these administratively.

The waterfront property in the proposed amendment is only for land abutting or adjoining brackish water such as a marsh, estuary or coastal river. Ricketson explained that freshwater and manmade bodies of water were not included.

The commissioners extended their annual agreement with the Liberty County Minority Chamber in which the chamber receives $1,000 from the county. The group has changed its name to Coastal Georgia Minority Chamber and works to encourage and facilitate economic growth, business development and the exchange of ideas. The chamber has its office in the Liberty County Development Authority building at 425 W. Oglethorpe Highway, Hinesville.

Parker can be contacted by email at 

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