The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners was busy Tuesday night, holding public hearings and taking action on a handful of zoning cases during its regular meeting session.
The first public hearing conducted by the board of commissioners involved whether or not to officially declare Birch Lane between Little Victoria Road and North Little Victoria Road abandoned by the county. According to county officials, Birch Lane has been platted for a number of years, but no work to actually develop the space into a road was ever fully conducted, and the area has become a bit more grown up since. The property owners on either side of the platted road submitted a request to the county to have the road abandoned, and county officials said there are no plans in the works to do anything with the road. Once the public hearing was closed, the board approved a motion to declare the road abandoned.
Following this, a second public hearing took place, this one dealing with amending the zoning map for developments that had become a non-conforming use of the land when the amendments to the Highway 92 Overlay were approved. These proposed changes would mean that 20 residential developments near the highway, along with the Yanmar/EVO Center, would be in the proper zoning classification if approved and thus be conforming uses once again. Nobody spoke out on the measure, either in favor of or in opposition to it, and once the public hearing was closed, a motion to approve these rezoning changes passed.
A public hearing had also been scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting regarding the appeal of a decision made by the zoning board dealing with a set of variance requests for a proposed residential development along Highway 92. Prior to the meeting, the applicant requested an additional postponement, as one had been granted in November. Believing the developer is working to modify plans for the site in order to potentially eliminate the need for these variances, the board granted the postponement.
The first zoning case dealt with a special use permit for land along Cumming Highway to allow for internet-based truck sales. The board recently approved rezoning the land from residential to neighborhood commercial, which does not allow for automobile sales, and thus essentially rendered the special use permit case moot. Despite this, the board still believed the case needed properly disposed of, and approved a motion to deny the permit.
The board then handled a request to rezone a parcel of property along Reinhardt College Parkway from residential to general commercial for the development of retail sales and an indoor shooting range, along with a concurrent variance to remove the required building setback and landscape strip along one of the property lines, as the applicant owns that parcel as well and would essentially combine the two pieces together. A motion to approve both the rezoning request and the concurrent variance passed unanimously.
The third zoning case surrounded land along Bascomb Carmel Road and Old Mackey Road, with the applicant seeking to rezone much of the area involved from residential to light industrial to construct a business park on the site. The application included concurrent variances to allow for parking in front of one of the buildings. Commissioner Corey Ragsdale said he thought this was a good development for the location, but still had a question on who owned, and thus was responsible for repairs on, Old Mackey Road, to which it was announced that the applicant is conducting a title search on that. A subsequent motion to approve the rezoning and variances passed.
The last zoning case to come before the board of commissioners involved a request to rezone land along Upper Sweetwater Trail from agricultural to medium density residential. The applicant had been looking for this rezoning to allow for the construction of two additional houses on the property for her parents in the future. Commissioner Benny Carter said he shared many of the same concerns the planning commission had voiced during its November public hearing meeting, before making a motion to deny the request, which passed.
The board of commissioners also took action on the following items:
- The consent agenda, which included authorizing the surplus of an obsolete laptop computer, a budget amendment of $16,575 to allocate insurance money to the sheriff’s office after an incident where a sheriff’s office motorcycle was totaled after being struck by a deer, the purchase of a new motorcycle from Southern Devil Harley in the amount of $15,735, an intergovernmental agreement with Bartow County that will enhance the new 800 MHz radio system in Cherokee County at no cost to the county and the renewal of an automatic aid agreement with Dawson County for fire and emergency services, was approved.
- The board approved the purchase of a Ford truck for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services from Hardy Family Ford in the amount of $28,635, in lieu of a van purchased in March that was damaged during delivery.
- In preparation for the widening of Bells Ferry Road between Victory Drive and North Victoria Road, the board approved awarding a professional services agreement to Moreland-Altobelli, LLC for services related to the acquiring of the necessary rights-of-way.
- A budget amendment of $135,600 to allow for the creation of two full-time positions under the direction of the Clerk of Superior Court, along with purchasing cubicles and necessary office equipment passed unanimously.
- The board passed a lease agreement for a residence on Ball Ground Highway, located on land acquired by the county earlier this year with the plan to turn the property into park space in the future. While these plans are still in development, the county decided to lease the residence out at a rate of $1/month, with the tenant handling all maintenance on the property.
- A change order allowing Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services to exchange 127 dual-band mobile radio for its current single-band mobile radios was approved.
The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will be Tuesday, Dec. 17. The meeting will begin with a work session at 3 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m.