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LCPC recommends approval for retail business in Walthourville
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The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended approval of a conditional-use request for a small retail business to be housed on the grounds of Pillar in Zion Church in Walthourville.

The request, filed by John Lockett on behalf of the church, was presented to the commission by LCPC Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage, who said that the applicant wanted to sell church-related items as well as “non-church related” fabrics.

Hartage said that the intent to sell non-church related items led to the LCPC’s recommendation for a conditional-use request.

“If it had been only church-related items, then we could have considered (the business) an accessory to the church,” she said.

Although it was not related to the commission’s decision, LCPC Executive Director Jeff Ricketson advised Hartage to inform the applicant that the business could possibly affect the church’s tax-exempt status.

“They might want to check with their accountants to make sure they’re not hurting themselves,” he said.

The commission unanimously recommended approval of the request. The petition will go before the Walthourville City Council at its March 12 and 26 meetings, as Ricketson informed the commission that Walthourville now holds two hearings on all zoning items.

The commission next heard a rezoning petition filed by Tracy Pipkin on behalf of Shelby Prestor, who seeks to open a wrecker business at 1241 W. Oglethorpe Highway.

Hartage said the area in question is surrounded by commercial property, and that a special-permit request had been approved by the commission last year for a used-car sales lot which “never materialized.”

The petition to rezone the property from General Commercial District to Highway Commercial District was recommended unanimously. The request will go before the Hinesville City Council at its March 5 meeting.

The commission also unanimously recommended approval of a variance request, filed by a Liberty County resident who lives “just north of Riceboro,” according to Hartage.

Hartage said the resident wants to install an in-ground pool in her backyard, roughly 5 feet from the rear and 5 feet from the side of the home. The county’s ordinance reads that a pool cannot be closer than 10 feet to any property line.

The request will go before the Liberty County Board of Commissioners on March 3.

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