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Citizens packed the courthouse for the Aug. 29 commission meeting with many speaking against proposed changes. A workshop with commissioners and planning and zoning board members from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Boards discuss Pike’s proposed code changes

During an all-day meeting Sept. 13, commissions held the regular meeting from 8:45 a.m. to 11, followed by a workshop to discuss potential changes in the county’s ordinances during a workshop with both commission board members and Pike Zoning Board members from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The next workshop to discuss the Pike County Unified Development Code will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 in the Pike County Parks and Recreation Community Center.

During the workshop Sept. 13, commissioners discussed changing A-R (Agricultural-Residential) zoning to require a 5-acre minimum lot size from the current 3-acre minimum lot size, as well as requiring a 10-acre minimum for new major subdivisions. They also discussed R-R (Rural Residential) zoning which would allow houses of 1,800 square foot or larger on three-acre tracts.

The R-R zoning would take the place of the current zonings for R-18 (two-acre minimum with 1,800 square foot houses) and R-20 (two acre minimum with 2,000 square foot houses).

It was noted that there are many legal non-conforming lots in the county of two-acre lots in A-R due to previous ordinance changes. The changes will help keep subdivisions out of agricultural sections of the county, according to planning and zoning director Jeremy Gilbert. He said the county needs criteria to maintain standards of housing and design standards such as limiting vinyl siding. Gilbert said the goal in changing A-R zoning requirements is to protect agricultural uses in those areas. The new subdivision being built on Adams Road in Meansville was an example of why the change is needed.

Allowing chickens and livestock was discussed with each zoning district proposed change. Chickens and livestock would not be limited on lots over five acres. In R-R zoned areas where houses are only on three-acre lots, no livestock would be allowed and no more than four chickens would be allowed, which is the same restriction for the current R-1 zoning.

The other proposed change of an R-2 zoning would allow for a one-acre minimum but all lots must be in a subdivision and must have new internal streets installed with 2,200 square foot houses that are on county water and in developing residential areas. No livestock would be allowed but up to four chickens would be allowed.

No action other than discussion of the proposed changes was made during the workshop session.

In the regular Wednesday, Sept. 13 meeting, commissioners heard from new Pike County IDA director Kyle Fletcher. She served as the Thomaston-Upson IDA director for more than a decade until recently being hired in Pike. She encouraged the board of commissioners and IDA to work together to complete the purchase of a property that has been in the works for several months and she outlined some of the benefits of the IDA purchasing the property. The board also cancelled the October night meeting since it falls on Halloween, voted to increase the Public Works driveway installation fee to $2,400 for any size culvert and held executive sessions to discuss personnel, pending litigation and possible acquisition of property.

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