County Community Development head suggest new UDO for livestock on personal property

Published 8:45 am Friday, January 14, 2022

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A rezoning request presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals & Planning Commission Thursday sparked the potential for the county to amend an ordinance that would allow landowners to house livestock on their properties under a special permit.

The consideration was brought up in conjunction with a rezoning request from LJL Ranch LLP, owned by applicant and LaGrange resident Ferrell Blair. The request was to rezone a 32-acre property of land along the southside of Willowood Road from single-family medium density to agricultural residential. Blair has used the land parcels he owns to house livestock for several years, though the livestock was removed as he was looking to facilitate the sale of the land and expand its marketability for potential buyers. 

In early 2021, two larger parcels of land, both owned by Blair, were divided into seven smaller parcels, five of which have since been sold. The remaining two make up the 32-acres Blair is attempting to sale and were under contract for sale until late 2021 when the contract was dissolved when the prospective buyer, who intended to have livestock on the property, learned that the current zoning of the parcels would not support his ability to house livestock.

Troy Anderson, the Troup County director of community development, first recommended that the board deny Blair’s rezoning request, voicing the concern that the rezoning could cause spot zoning, or the process of singling out a small parcel of land for a use classification different from that of the surrounding area. However, Anderson also recommended the employment of an amendment to the current zoning ordinance as part of a plan by the Troup County Community Development Office to create a new unified development ordinance (UDO).

“Through our discussions, we jointly agree that there is a need, or a demand, for the allowance of livestock in rural areas that have been zoned for residential,” Anderson said. “The details for finding a parcel eligible to have livestock are still under consideration.”

If a text amendment to the existing code of ordnance is approved for the allowance of livestock, future applicants would need to go through a special use permitting process. This would pave the way for the UDO that is set to be published later this year, Anderson said.

With the text amendment, the county could allow an applicant to come forward and make an application to have a certain number of livestock on their property.

The issue still being determined, Anderson explained, is what size parcel would allow a special use permit.

Within the subnotes of an application, the applicant would need to outline the number of livestock to a certain number of acreage.

The Board approved Blair’s rezoning application request despite Anderson’s recommendation.