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City council approves development for seniors
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The Hinesville City Council approved two actions Thursday to promote the development of a seniors’ independent-living apartment community on Memorial Drive.
The first action was a rezoning request by Jimmy Shanken, agent for Glenda P. Welborn and Jerry C. Poppel, who own of 2.34 acres on East Memorial Drive. The request was made on behalf of developer William H. Gross. The council approved the request to rezone the property from single-family dwelling district to a downtown development district to allow for development of a 42-unit age-restricted apartment community for seniors ages 55 and older.
Gabrielle Hartage of the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission pointed out the proposed community supports the Aging Community Charrette that was conducted a year ago.
The second action was a resolution to support and endorse the elderly residential development as a tax-credit project through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Tax Credit Program. Attorney Tom Ratcliffe, a former Hinesville mayor, represented Gross, who was there to answer questions about the development.
“I think we’re fortunate to have someone like Mr. Gross interested in investing in the project,” Ratcliffe said.
Mayor Jim Thomas and the council agreed and approved the resolution.
The council also approved the preliminary plat revision for Griffin Park Subdivision’s Phase VI and heard an information item by Joey Patenaude of the LCPC about submitting its five-year update to the 2030 Consolidated Comprehension Plan. Patenaude told the council the LCPC’s primary goal is to develop a new short-term work plan while evaluating progress made toward previous goals.
Leah Poole, CEO of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, presented an update of activities planned and completed by the Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Hinesville Area Arts Council.
She talked about the 10th annual Blues & BBQ, including plans to continue the sweet-tea contest and add a battle of the bands.
Poole presented a slide showing a proposed new mural, saying the HAAC planned to unveil it in September in honor of the birthday of the Liberty Independent Troop, whose museum now shares the HAAC’s building. The now-Georgia National Guard troop will celebrate 200 years of continuous military history in Liberty County, she said. The proposed mural is a graphic rendering of the Statue of Liberty with the U.S. flag as a background.
Several new committee and board appointments were made, and a request by CH2MHILL/OMI was canceled for authorization to have a contractor perform grinding operations of stored yard waste at JV Pond.
A proposed new ordinance regarding Internet gaming and sweepstakes also was postponed following a request by City Attorney Linnie Darden to extend the current moratorium on those activities for another six months.
“Since the state has already signed it into law, do we have the right or authority to put in place another moratorium?” Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier said.
After Darden assured Frasier the city had the authority to extend the moratorium, Councilman Jason Floyd asked Thomas for guidance on the ordinance, noting the military often warns soldiers to stay away from these types of businesses.
Thomas and City Manager Billy Edwards both said that issue was one of the reasons they needed more time to look at the proposed ordinance. The extension was approved.
Closing items approved included a resolution to submit the 2013 Annual Action Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and bid approvals for CH2MHILL/OMI to purchase five utility trailers.
Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Ryon’s report noted that sales-tax collections were much better than the previous month, and that property-tax revenues still were two months behind in being reported. She said the city’s budget is “looking better.”

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