Land Use Committee Meets

The Stephens County Land Use Regulation Committee continues to meet.

The committee met both Monday and Tuesday at the historic Stephens County Courthouse in downtown Toccoa.

On Monday, the committee heard from representatives from Farm Bureau.

Stephens County Administrator Phyllis Ayers said that the two individuals the committee heard from were not only involved with the Farm Bureau, but also involved in land use issues as former Catoosa County Planning Commission members.

“They were able to bring light on some things that do and do not work in certain areas of the county and their experience,” said Ayers. “It was very good, productive session. They are not on the planning commission at this time, but they had a lot of experience to bring to us.”

Then on Tuesday, the committee discussed what types of regulations it would like to look at emulating moving forward.

Committee members said that rather than pursue strict zoning, they want to look at establishing setbacks, that for example could require a certain type of business to be a certain distance from another type of structure, such as a school or residence.

Ayers said the committee is going to start by looking at some ordinances the county already has in place.

“They pretty much decided instead of going to a pure zoning ordinance at this time, or a pure land use code, they are going to begin with two of our chapters of our ordinance, Chapter 34 and 35, which are our environmental ordinances and begin to look at what kinds of setbacks you could put from where what can be located where. For example, we do have an adult entertainment ordinance that already tells you how far away from certain things it can be and cannot be. That is the direction they are going at this time.”

The committee set its next meeting for December 11.

The Land Use Regulation Committee has been meeting since September.

The committee includes individuals from many sectors of the community chosen by the county commission to look more closely at the issue of land use moving forward.