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County talks rezoning for Hwy. 17 stretch
Votes to hold 7.9 mills for 2012
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A five-mile tract of land on Hwy. 17 could be rezoned after some discussion Tuesday at the Bryan County Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting at the courthouse in Pembroke.
Zoning Administrator Christine Kinzie addressed the commissioners about potentially initiating a rezoning of about 53 parcels along the north side of Hwy. 17 that stretch from Richmond Hill’s corporate limits to the edge of Bailey Plantation. The switch would be from the current various zonings, including residential and agriculture zones, to a B-2 commercial overlay district.
County Administrator Phil Jones told commissioners if the properties were rezoned, they would remain under the current use until the property was sold. At that point, he said, the property owner could sell the land as commercial property and receive more money.
Jones also said because this would be a county-initiated rezoning, it would pose no cost to the property owner if the change takes place.
Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said he liked the idea and referred to the rezoning as a long-term strategy.
“It really is a planning tool because the whole strip will be commercial one day,” he said.
In other business, commissioners unanimously approved to hold the 2011 millage rate at 7.9 mills, which is required to support the proposed 2012 budget according to Jones.
The board also approved the Board of Education’s millage rate of 15.537 mills. This is the third year for both the BoE and the county that the millage rate has remained the same.
Burnsed said although the millage rate will not change, there will be a decrease in revenues from taxes.
“Our digest did go down in value because of the real estate financial crisis, so we will actually collect fewer taxes in the coming year 2012 than we did in 2011,” Burnsed said.
Commissioners also approved the millage rates of 1.218 for the Cove subdivision and 4.88 mills for Jerico subdivision. These millage rates are in place due to paving and drainage projects the county performed in those neighborhoods.

Read more in the Sept. 17 edition of the News.

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