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County OKs downtown mural design
Rule to require noise alert to buyer before land sale near post scapped
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An abstract Hinesville Area Arts Council mural depicting a live oak tree and shrimp boat received the county’s blessing Tuesday.

The Liberty County Commission had tabled the request on June 21 due to concerns about the mural’s design and the lack of county input. The city of Hinesville, which is to receive the mural as a celebration of its 175th anniversary, approved the plans.

HAAC Chairwoman Leah Poole discussed the concept behind the mural, which will be installed on the north wall of a county-owned building at the corner of Commerce and Court streets.

“We settled on an overall artistic style of abstract, trying to keep the theme based in reality, but the style can be considered more artsy than just recreating something that would look like a photograph,” Poole said.

One advantage to using the abstract theme is that members of the community who do not have fine arts skills can contribute to the painting, Poole said.

“It took me a while for this to kind of grow on me … but I’ve grown to like it. I’ve looked at it every day just trying to figure out,” Commissioner Connie Thrift said.

Chairman John McIver pointed out that the design does not have Spanish moss. Poole said she could ask the artist, Ashley Cuevas, to add moss.

Present commissioners Thrift, McIver, Marion Stevens Sr., Gary Gilliard and Pat Bowen approved the request. Eddie Walden was not present.

The mural will be painted on four 4-by-10-foot panels so it can be removed from the building but remain intact. It is slated to be unveiled Sept. 12.

The board also completed its last task related to a planning and zoning code revision presented by Fort Stewart Growth Management Partnership Director Jeff Ricketson.

In April, the board approved all but one aspect of the revision: creating a military installation zoning overlay district that would require point-of-sale real-estate disclosure of operations and potential noise on Fort Stewart for properties sold within the zone.

At the time, Ricketson said the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission unanimously approved the MIZOD map as part of the development plan.

But Bowen and Walden opposed the map, citing concerns it would inhibit growth within the area and prevent property owners from selling. McIver requested that Ricketson present the MIZOD plan before the Hinesville Area Board of Realtors and “get their blessing” before bringing it back to the BoC.

Ricketson on Tuesday presented a letter from HABR President Jeanne Evans that said the membership voted to oppose the recommendation but to continue notifying the garrison commander when any rezoning requests were made within the map area.

That practice is in line with how other neighbors are treated during rezoning requests, Ricketson said.

The BoC voted unanimously to accept a new provision that the zoning official shall notify the Fort Stewart garrison commander of all proposed zoning amendments within the MIZOD.

The BoC also:
• approved an additional year of audit service with Mauldin & Jenkins at $70,000, an increase from $69,300 for the three prior years
• approved an FY 2012 budget adjustment to recognize receipt of $3,687,182 from the Office of Economic Adjustment. The board designated $1,587,182 for unidentified capital, $1 million for the west end fire station and $1.1 million for parking improvements
• approved a resolution to apply for Opportunity Zone status for Tradeport West Business Center

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