Pike County commissioners heard from county manager Brandon Rogers about the estimated cost to pick up, house, provide veterinary services for and adopt out one dog during their March 28 meeting. He said the cost would be around $350 per dog to house them for five days and pay for veterinary care.
The board members did not have much to say about the need for animal control other than commissioner Tim Guy who said, “We could put the dog up at the Marriott for cheaper than that,” and asked the county manager to continue to research costs and provide them with more information about opening the shelter.
County manager Rogers said he had looked into a county-wide survey program and found that even at a steep discount, the price would be around $10,000. He encouraged commissioners to continue to speak with citizens in their districts about the issue to determine public opinion on opening an animal shelter.
Commissioners held several public hearings regarding special exception requests and rezoning of properties to C-3 (Heavy Commercial).
The first public hearings were regarding rezoning from A-R to C-3 and a special exception request for property on the southwest corner of Rosehill Road and Highway 19 in Meansville. The 3.1 acre parcel rezoning was approved by a 3-2 vote and commissioners also voted 3-2 with chairman Briar Johnson and commissioner James Jenkins in opposed to allowing a self-storage facility on the property.
Commissioners placed conditions that all storage buildings should not have roll-up doors facing a public right-of-way, that all portions of the building facing the public right-of-way be brick or stone, a six-foot tall privacy fence will be placed along all property lines adjoining residential property and water drainage and lighting must be coordinated with adjoining property owner David Bell.
The second public rezoning request was regarding a 39-acre property on the west side of Highway 19 and east of Williamson-Zebulon Road. The request was for rezoning from A-R to C-3 for future commercial use but not specific examples of businesses were presented. Planning and zoning director Jeremy Gilbert noted that the portion of the property located in the city of Zebulon is already zoned commercial. Commissioner approved the rezoning 4-1 with commissioner Jenkins opposed. Conditions of the approval include a 50 foot buffer must be planted and maintained on all property lines that abut a residentially zoned property, any proposed future development must be reviewed by the planning and zoning board to ensure compliance with the intent of the Highway 19 Overlay Ordinance, that no access for traffic be allowed onto Williamson-Zebulon Road and that any use other than the expansion of the current business will be required to return to the board of commissioners for approval.
The last public hearing was regarding Southern Cousins Properties’ request for rezoning from P-I (Professional-Institutional) to C-3 for a 7.4 acre property at 13576 Highway 19 in Zebulon.
Commissioner Jenkins made a motion to deny the request but it failed due to lack of a second.
Commissioners approved the rezoning by a 4-1 vote with the following conditions. The entire site be developed in compliance with the Highway 19 Overlay Ordinance regulations and approval by the planning and zoning board, a 50-foot buffer be planted on all property lines that abut a residentially zoned property and any proposed use will be required to go before the board of commissioners for approval. Another condition stated the property will not be used for an automobile service station, small scale indoor recreation, laundromat, news or tobacco shop, taxi office, local, state or federal government building or utility substation, ambulance service, bus terminal, parking lot, daycare center, boat sales, dry cleaning plant, heavy equipment sales and service, major automotive repair, manufactured home sales lot, outdoor theater, recreation vehicle sales and service, tire retreading, used car and truck sales, as a special trade contractor shop or as a portable building sales lot.
Two citizens addressed the board at the end of the meeting, including Becky Watts who spoke about Brandon Rogers’ performance as county manager. She said Rogers had introduced planning and zoning director Jeremy Gilbert as assistant county manager in recent budget meetings and that his lack of respect to the board, county employees and citizens was reason for dismissal.
“My concerns have been ongoing for more than a year,” she said. “Is Brandon treating you and fellow board members with respect? And are you sure he is not going to treat you like he did chairman Johnson at the past meeting? Is this how you would conduct business at your personal business? I seriously doubt it. Why is this okay here?”
Commissioners also heard from former planning and zoning director David Allen about the new planning and zoning board and county codes.
“The county’s two boards were recently condensed down to one five-member board and they simply don’t have the experience and knowledge necessary to do the job,” he said. “They need training and I’m really concerned because there are a lot of different things in the county’s code that the planning and zoning board needs to be very familiar with. It’s sad what happened tonight. You may think they everyone has the right to do what they want to do with their property, but do you want it next to you?”
The county also:
- Appointed Cherry Thomas to the Pike County Animal Shelter board to fill an unexpired term set to expire Sept. 30.
- Approved use of the courthouse grounds from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 17 for Concerned Citizens of Pike County’s Juneteenth celebration.
- Approved the surplus of a 2004 Pontiac Vice on govdeals.com.
- Approved a homestead exemption for the past three years for the estate of Charles Barton Sr. and Kathleen Barton due to a clerical error.
• Denied the tax refund application from Melissa Turner/Chadwick Mercer for $618.83.
- Approved use of $45,455 in ARPA funds for design engineer services rendered on Reidsboro Road.
• Approved authorizing chairman Briar Johnson to sign a new Opioid MOU so the county can continue to receive funding from the litigation settlement.
- Postponed discussion of Impact Fee Credits until the next meeting for commissioners to study the subject further.
- Discussed the Georgia Department of Transportation’s plans to replace the bridge over Little Potato Creek on Williams Mill Road. Commissioner Jason Proctor noted that the closure would be most inconvenient during the months of November and December due to the Christmas tree farm located on the road.
- Held closed, executive sessions to discuss possible acquisition of real property as well as personnel and potential litigation. They reconvened and adjourned the meeting at 9:24 p.m.