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LCPC recommends Flemington annex property straddling city line
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The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended that the city of Flemington annex eight parcels of land that mistakenly were identified as un-zoned county property.

According to Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage, the Flemington city line was incorrect as shown in the Geographical Information System. She said that P.C. Simonton and Associates brought the error to the LCPC’s attention.

Hartage said the erroneous line was problematic for 911 operators trying to determine which municipality to dispatch in response to emergency calls coming from the affected properties.

The commission unanimously recommended annexation, though Hartage warned them that more properties likely would need rezoning following the updated city line in the GIS.

Prior to recommending annexation, the commission unanimously recommended approval of a rezoning petition for the same eight parcels affected by the annexation ordinance — an action that seemed out of order to LCPC Chairman Jack Shuman.

“Are we not jumping the gun here?” he asked. “Can we rezone property for the city of Flemington that is not yet in the city of Flemington?”

Hartage assured Shuman that the actions were listed in the correct order, as mandated by Official Code of Georgia Annotated. LCPC Executive Director Jeff Ricketson confirmed Hartage’s assessment.

“What you’re saying stands to reason — I questioned that, too. But (Hartage) has checked it time and time again, and that’s the way we’ve done it when we annexed properties in the city of Hinesville,” he said.

The zoning petition and the annexation ordinance will go before the city of Flemington for final approval.

The commission also unanimously recommended approval of a variance request filed by a Liberty County resident looking to build a garage on his property, located on Pelican Cove Road. The Liberty County Commission will have final say on the matter at its next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 4.

The LCPC also recommended approval of two actions related to a church and outreach ministry in Hinesville. Douglas Burgess petitioned to have property located on E.G. Miles Parkway rezoned from General Commercial to Highway Commercial.

Burgess also submitted a special permit-use request for a building on the property. Although the commission recommended approval unanimously, LCPC Vice Chairman Timothy Byler expressed concern over the state of the building.

“One of the purposes of this commission is to be able to help people as they’re moving forward with decisions on their property, to be able to make educated decisions,” Byler said.

“I have a real, great concern that when he sits down and goes through the process with the fire department, he’s going to find out that he’s got a mess on his hands,” he continued, noting that the building in question has known fire-code violations. “I’m just wanting to make certain that we have communicated very clearly with him that he needs to check on that … before he gets elbow-deep, financially, in the process.”

Ricketson said that the building’s owner is fully aware of the work that would need to be done in order to meet fire codes for a church.

“In fact, he came to the city-council meeting before we even took his application, and he was told that in front of the city council,” Ricketson said.

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