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Residents protest rezoning
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A group of upset residents protested a proposed rezoning at the first Hinesville City Council meeting of 2009.
The rezoning petition was requested by J. Noel Osteen and Billy N. Jones, who hope to build a 74-unit condominium development on that Olmstead Drive land parcel.
Heather Doyle, one of the concerned residents, presented a petition, signed by neighbors who live near the parcel, to the council.
Their main concerns include increased traffic on Olmstead and a risk of flooding due to increased run-off.
Osteen presented sketches of the development plans. He said the preliminary plan is for two minor exits along with one main exit/entrance to avoid clogging traffic.
The council approved the rezoning petition but with conditions. The council has not approved all the plans for construction.
In other business, Donita Gaulden, the city’s community involvement coordinator, requested permission to apply for community development grants.
The first grant would be for emergency food and shelter. Gaulden said they are applying for $24,000, an increase from $10,000 last year.
“Typically funds are spent in three or four months because the need is so large in the area,” Gaulden said.
Mayor Jim Thomas agreed the city needs increased funding to fight the problem.
“The situation with the homeless is significantly greater than last year,” Thomas said.
The council also approved Gaulden’s department application for a grant to combat gang activity.
She is applying for $40,246 to fund a 13-week course in which law officers would teach students about the consequences of gang life, as well as alternatives to getting involved in gangs.
“Again, this is an area that we have a great need for,” Thomas said. “You can just look at the police reports.”
All the grant requests, including $10,000 for historic preservation, were approved.
The council also approved an order for a Fireline/ E-one fire truck from a Winder manufacturer. Once vehicle assembly begins, it should be completed within 240 days.
Other housekeeping items, such as the renewal of Buffalo’s Cafe’s alcohol license, approving a transient merchant’s license for a circus coming to town, and the adoption of a federal identity theft prevention program for the city, were conducted Thursday.
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