August 17, 2007
COMMENT NEEDED, BUT WILL IT BE ALLOWED?
Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Map being “updated”
The Jasper County
Board of Commissioners will hold a Work Session
on Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 6:00pm. The Topics
of Discussion (as of this writing) are:
Comprehensive Plan Partial Update
2. Animal Control Committee Recommendations
3. County Transportation Program (Whatever this means—it
could mean buying more vehicles, paving roads, deciding
which of our roads are “the worst ones”, or any number
During the regular
BOC meeting on 8/6/07, there was a Public Hearing
on the Update to the Comprehensive Plan.
Commissioners had comments about the update. Some were
about the Scenic Byway portions, others about locations
of proposed EMS/Fire stations. Several people spoke, but
one citizen, Mr. Ken McMichael, had an entire list of items
he wanted changed. In particular he wanted:
a commercial node (meaning convenience store) at Broughton
Rd. & Hwy 142
• a commercial node Henderson Mill Rd. and County Line
• a heavy commercial zoning for new shopping center (like
a Publix) at Hwy 212 W and Jackson Lake Rd
explained that this would bring Jasper County much more
sales tax—it would “capture” the sales tax of people on
their way to Newton County.
Please notice that all these “commercial areas”
will be in the North part of the County. Roof tops
and Market Analysis should be the determinant in locating
commercial development as well what the neighbors want,
not a random change to the Land Use Map.
TWG finds it
strange that Mr. McMichael didn’t feel it was necessary
to have any Commercial nodes or Heavy Commercial zoning
at Goolsby Rd. and Hwy 11 S or near Hillsboro. A commercial
area in this vicinity would have captured all that sales
tax we are losing when people travel to Macon, wouldn’t
then informed the Commissioners of a “Geological anomaly”.
He said that near Highway
11 & Perimeter Rd. he wanted a possible “well field”
protected and have the Land Use Map changed from “future
industrial and high density housing” back to Agriculture.
Mr. Michael informed the BOC that City of
Monticello and JCWSA plan to do joint project in this area
to supply City and JCWSA water needs. (TWG note: This project
has been in the works for a couple of years. Documents
obtained by the TWG show NO geologist report. Viable
well fields could be a source of water, but these should
be based on scientific evidence, and not personal opinion.
Private property rights must be considered in all of Mr.
Bernard immediately jumped on this bandwagon and said, “What
needs to be done to change [the plan] to add
all Mr. McMichael’s recommendations?”
Chris Anderson answered saying they would have to amend
the document. He informed them it MUST be sent to RDC for
approval this month in order to
get it done by Oct 31 and turned into DCA. Comm. Hill stated,
“We need to have called meeting to go back over it.”
Comm. Bernard then made a BIG DEAL about having night meeting
to go over new ideas so the public could attend.
suggests that if you don’t agree with these items
it would be in your best interest to show up at the meeting
this coming Tuesday night and voice your opinion.
Even though the meeting is deemed a work session,
many that attended the regular meeting felt it was stated
that there would have to be another public hearing since
all these changes to the Comprehensive
Land Use Plan and the Future Land Use Map were going to
be made. The land use map affects how areas in the County
Bernard made such a big deal about having a night meeting,
TWG questions why it states on the public notice that
“Public comment during the work session will be at the
discretion of the Board.” If the BOC really wanted the
public to attend, the meeting would have been held at a
convenient hour for people that work and have to travel
home—7:00PM. BUT even more interesting is the fact that
the resolution to accept the Comprehensive Plan with all
the suggested changes is already prepared and ready to be
signed at 7:30PM the same night.
As we all know,
meetings and public hearings aren’t about being concerned
about what the citizens think or want, they are about rushing
everything through without really knowing or caring about
what a contract or resolution really does or says.
TWG has observed
on several occasions that the BOC defers to the County Manager
or the County Attorney, asking if they have read it because
the Commissioners haven’t done so. As long as they get a
nod, they vote and go on their merry way, never knowing
what they voted on. The consequences come later for the
taxpayers to deal with.
Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Map which is
being revised is one of the factors Zoning decisions are
based on. These changes could affect you in the not so distance
future. Now will be your chance to speak up about the changes.
Attend the meeting Tuesday night if at all possible.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.