Walthourville residents met with Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission planners in March to provide input to update their community’s land-use map as part of Liberty County’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
On Tuesday, Walthourville residents met again with LCPC officials to see the revised land-use map and talk about development in their community. Planner Melissa Jones and Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage said the eight changes that residents requested during the March 30 meeting are reflected in the new land-use map.
Jones reminded those attending Tuesday’s meeting that their input helps the county in making future decisions about land-use, zoning, transportation and infrastructure investments.
“The comprehensive plan is mandated by the state of Georgia through the Department of Community Affairs,” Jones said. “We have to develop a plan every five years. This plan will be completed in 2016. … At the March 30 meeting, we did have several changes proposed for the land-use map. This sub-use area is composed of 2,819 acres, but as you can see we have included more than just the city limits of Walthourville.”
She said unincorporated areas outside the city limits are included. The majority of land within their sub-area is designated as single-family development, she said. She also noted three major thoroughfares through Walthourville: Highway 84, Airport Road and Talmadge Road. She said LCPC was highlighting Highway 84 and Airport Road as mixed-used urban corridors.
A Hinesville resident, Tyrone Adams, who was attending the meeting to learn what changes may be happening in the whole community, asked Jones to explain the mixed-use corridor. She told him it was an area in which both residential and commercial development were possible. Usually these areas are located along a major corridor, she said.
“Whatever happens here (on the edge of the county) is going to affect Hinesville too,” Adams said. “We’re all part of one community.”
He said he regretted missing the five previous community-planning meetings and wanted to know when LCPC would hold its community planning meetings in Hinesville.
Jones told him the next community meetings would be in Allenhurst next month. After Allenhurst, LCPC will meet with residents in the Gum Branch/Rye Patch area during July and August. The first community meetings in Hinesville will be on the city’s west side in September and October, the middle-area community meetings will be in November and December, and then the city’s east side in January and February.
After first showing the old Walthourville land-use map, Jones pointed to the revised map and some of the changes residents had asked for during the initial meeting. These changes include an area marked as public institutional, which could become a civic center. Several additional churches also were added to the map, she said.
Resident Nathaniel Pray then asked about wetlands. She explained that Walthourville does not have a lot of environmental constraints compared to other parts of the county. The small areas that are wetlands are designated on the map.
She emphasized that changing the land use on the map was not a zoning change. If a developer or property owner wants to change the zoning, he or she would still have to go through the Board of Commissioners. She added, though, that the commissioners will consider the land-use map before considering a zoning change.
Connie Thrift, the District 3 county commissioner, asked whether the small strip mall on Airport Road across from the College and Career Academy was designated as commercial. LCPC Director Jeff Ricketson said that area is designated as mixed-use urban corridor, which would include commercial ventures.
Jones thanked Mayor Daisy Pray for attending the follow-up meeting along with city council woman Luciria Lovette and city clerk Shana Moss. She said the follow-up meeting was not usually so well attended, but theirs included more than a dozen people.