Two Allenhurst residents raised concerns during Tuesday’s Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission meeting about a proposed adult-care home.
The applicant’s outspoken neighbors worried residents could drown should they wander off from the planned facility and fall into a nearby creek. They also said the 3.14-acre property where the home would be located has drainage issues.
Deborah Barnes approached the LCPC to request approval to operate an adult-care home at 392 Dunlevie Road. The property is zoned R-2, meaning it is in a district zoned two-family residential. Barnes has entered into a rental agreement with property owner Roscoe Floyd.
LCPC zoning analyst Joey Patenaude presented Barnes’ request to the planning commission. Patenaude said Barnes would have no more than six residents in the home. Barnes must also pass a fire-marshal inspection and be inspected and licensed by the state, pending recommendation for approval by the LCPC and approval by the Allenhurst City Council, Patenaude said.
Allenhurst Mayor Pro Tem Amanda Cox said a previous tenant of the property drowned in the creek near the house. He had been mowing grass when he was pinned under heavy equipment and drowned, Cox recalled. She also said Dunlevie Road has a lot of traffic, and questioned whether the home would be properly secured to prevent residents from wandering down to the creek or into the street.
Allenhurst resident David Sapp said the property had not been well-maintained, and was in the town’s historic district. He said the driveway to the home is narrow and, therefore, there is not much parking. He added that because longleaf pines were removed from the property, the ground gets soggy after rain.
Planning Commissioner Phil Odom asked Jeff Ricketson, LCPC executive director and planning-commission secretary, if the adult-care home violated any of Allenhurst’s ordinances. Ricketson said it does not.
Barnes said she will properly maintain the property and speak to the owner about fencing. She added that she has been a health-care provider for years and will monitor the residents to ensure their safety.
Staff recommended approval. The commission voted, 6-2, to approve the request. LCPC chairman Jack Shuman and Assistant Vice Chairwoman Lynn Pace voted against the request. The conditional-use request will come before the Allenhurst City Council at 7:30 p.m. March 3.
LCPC Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage presented a rezoning petition from Mark and Carolyn Walthour to rezone 3 acres from agricultural residential to multi-family residential within Walthourville. The property is off Hillary Lane, an unpaved road. The couple plan to convert modular school-room units into residential duplexes in the first phase of the project. These buildings will fall under the Georgia Department of Community Affairs regulations, Hartage said. Traditional apartment buildings are proposed for a second phase, she said. Mark Walthour agreed to the LCPC’s special conditions that the second phase of the project will be permitted only after the road is paved.
The planning commission voted to recommend approval for the rezoning petition. The matter will come before the Walthourville City Council at 6 p.m. March 13. The council meets at the Walthourville police department.
In other planning commission business:
• A special-exception request by Donald Klotz to build a freestanding garage at 176 E. First St. was recommended for approval. Patenaude said Klotz is retired and intends to use the garage for his hobbies.
• The LCPC voted to retain its current officers for 2014. Shuman is LCPC chairman, Timothy Byler is vice chairwoman. Ricketson is the planning-commission secretary. Sarah Baker, Alonzo Bryant, Don Emmons, Marshal Kennemer, Odom and Durand Standard are planning commissioners.