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County fills board vacancies, tables cluster ordinance

POSTED: February 16, 2017 11:35 a.m.

It was a night of appointments at the Bryan County Commission meeting Tuesday as the group made appointments to the development authority, the planning and zoning commission and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Joint Development Authority.
The commissioners appointed local businessman Dallas Daniel to the development authority. Daniel’s is filling the unexpired term of Brad Brookshire, who resigned when he was elected as a Bryan County commissioner. Daniel’s term expires July 31. Daniel recently served as an appointed Bryan County commissioner, filling the role for Carter Infinger, who resigned last year to run for county commission chairman.
The commissioners also filled several vacancies on the planning commission, appointing Joe Pecenka, Kathryn Johnson and Alex Floyd.
The appointments bring the number of planning commissioners to six, not including the planning commission chair

man.
Finally, the commission appointed Infinger to the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Joint Development Authority.
The authority seeks to promote economic development and promote regional projects that benefit counties in the area.
The commissioners also approved two rezoning requests.
The first was a request from Betty Braddy to rezone 5.84 acres on Highway 144 near Steeple Chase Lane from AR-2.5 to A-5.
The planning staff and planning commission recommended disapproval of the request, although planning director Eric Greenway said the conditions that had originally made him recommend disapproval had been rectified to his satisfaction and he could see both sides of the request.
“This is one of those times I hate to make a recommendation because it could go either way now. The situation that made me recommend denial has now been rectified.” Several neighbors spoke in favor of the rezoning and the commissioners listened and voted to approve the request. The rezoning will allow Braddy to keep horses and other animals on the property.
The commissioners also voted to approve a rezoning request from Steve Hodge to rezone 6.78 acres on IG Lanier Road from A-5 to AR-2.5. The staff and planning commission recommended approval of the request. An adjacent property owner is purchasing the land but has no plans to build on it at this point.
In a surprise move, Commissioner Brad Brookshire voted to table a vote on the cluster subdivision ordinance until the next commission meeting.
The ordinance has drawn the ire of many local builders and the Savannah Homebuilders Association.
The optional ordinance would allow more lots per acre than the existing ordinance but would limit certain building materials. The main opposition to the ordinance was its prohibition of vinyl siding.
Brookshire said the extra 30 days would allow additional time for the staff to work with those concerned about the ordinance and give them a chance to find common ground before the commissioners voted on the measure.
The proposed cluster subdivision ordinance would be in addition to the existing zoning ordinance and would allow builder and developers an additional choice to consider.
The commission also agreed to purchase 1.34 acres on West Industrial Blvd in Pembroke, across from the existing county animal shelter for the ultimate construction of a new animal shelter.
The property the current shelter is located upon belongs to the city of Pembroke.
A contract for $198,000 was awarded for the removal of approximately 9,000 tons of Hurricane Matthew debris. The removal of the debris must be complete by April 1 to qualify for funds reimbursement from FEMA.
A first reading was held of a proposed ordinance that would require the approval of the commissioners on the building of an accessory building on R-1 zoned property where no other building existed on the land. Greenway said there had been a problem in the past because the current ordinance says an accessory structure must be subordinate to an existing structure on the property. The problem arises, he said, when a property owner wants to build an accessory building and there is no other building to be subordinate to because the land is vacant.
A first reading was also held on an ordinance that would regulate the size of commercial signs, along with buffers and parking lot design, etc. on Black Creek Church Road, Belfast River Road, Belfast Keller Road, Eldora Road, Harris Trail, Highways 204, 80, 119, 67, 144, 144 Spur, I-16, I-95 and Oak Level Road.
The second reading on both proposed ordinances will take place at the March commission meeting.

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