The Liberty County Commission has taken the first step toward the development of a major sailing facility at Sunbury, an expansion of the Savannah Sailing Center.
Sean Register and other representatives of the center told the commissioners last week of plans for a building adjacent to the public boat ramp at Sunbury. The proposed building would have rooms for classes and conferences, locker rooms, space for sail storage and maintenance, and restrooms.
Register said the center was seeking corporate and individual donors along with Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grants to fund the plan. Most of the money could come from a Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Grant that would come through the county. Allen Burns, executive director of the Coastal Regional Commission, and Eric Landon, CRC planning director, offered help with the grant.
Landon explained that the stewardship grants are funded through the state sales tax on recreation equipment. A minimum 25 percent match is required; the match can be in cash or in kind.
County Commissioner Pat Bowen said the project looked good but pointed out, “We are a fishing community,” and said he was concerned about the limited ramp space available. Sailing center representatives assured him that they had maintained cordial relations with all users of the ramp and would continue to do so.
County Commissioner Marion Stevens made the motion to proceed with the sailing center plans and it passed unanimously.
In other business the commissioners granted a zoning variance for completion of a shed on a 1.65 acre lot on Sunshine Lake Road. The shed is almost complete but is within three feet of the property line instead of the 10-foot setback required.
Property owner Elvis Hutching agreed to a privacy fence or planted buffer between the shed and the property line. The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission had found no grounds for a variance and had recommended disapproval.
The commissioners also gave approval to a new ordinance regulating recreational vehicle parks. The ordinance allows the parks in areas zoned R-4 and regulates the size of lots and open spaces, duration of stay and setbacks.
The RV park ordinance had been read for the commission in February and in April and in August; a public hearing and final approval were Sept. 1.
A resolution enabling Liberty County to receive more than $1 million in reimbursements for expenses and losses due to COVID-19 was passed. The federal funds are authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
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