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Pike Co. adopts development standards

Pike County now has development standards in place along its major thoroughfares with the approval of the overlay district. The overlay district is presented as Chapter 159 to the code. It will provide an additional layer of regulations to underlying zonings of properties on highways 19 and 41 to provide extra controls on development; minimize inappropriate, haphazard and inharmonious improvements and alterations to properties; secure and maintain additional building setbacks; and secure consistency in performance between public and private developments. Boundaries will include properties with frontage on or access via Highway 19 and Highway 41. Those of the Highway 19 overlay district are in a corridor 400 feet from each side of the centerline of the highway from its intersection with the Pike/Spalding county line to that with the Pike/Upson county line, excluding in Zebulon. Boundaries of the Highway 41 overlay district are in a corridor 400 feet from each side of the centerline of Highway 41 from the Spalding and Lamar county lines. The draft was created by Bill Schmid of Rochester and Associates, the firm chosen in February 2007 to research and create the district for the Pike County Development Authority and commissioners. County manager Steve Marro submitted it to county attorney Rob Morton and the planning and development staff for review and input. A revised draft was created in a format compatible with existing code. When it came before commissioners for a first reading, there was a request from the IDA to reduce the requirement affecting materials used for building exteriors, especially existing ones whose owners were seeking additions. Last week commissioner Parrish Swift said lessening the requirements was not prudent. Though the IDA argued the original requirements were cost prohibitive and could deter business from Pike, Swift said even with no standards in place prior to the code people were not coming to Pike. Several planning commission members and Swift were concerned one category of materials for trim or accents could be misconstrued as material for an entire wall. That provision was eliminated. The overlay was approved 3-1 to allow materials in categories A and B as stated under design standards. The code has been in the works two years. IDA director Karen Brown received in early November 2008 the draft from Rochester, which has been paid $48,500 for its work ‘“ $20,000 in grant funds, a $20,000 match from commissioners and $8,500 from the development authority. The goal of the district is to have consistent, aesthetically appealing development standards on the highway corridors.

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