Commission discusses changes to zoning board ordinance

LaGRANGE – The Troup County Board of Commissioners discussed cleaning up the wording of the zoning ordinance to be clearer and consolidating the rules for zoning procedures at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The primary changes to the ordinance would involve the replacement of the words “conditional use” with “special use,” and will still allow residents to submit the same type of requests, but all requests will be under one name instead of two different names for the sake of simplification and clarity.

“In the past when we have received applications for conditional use, and we have received applications for special use, and we redefined both of those to combine both of them to use the same terminology for all of those uses,” said County Engineer James Emery. “There were just a few places in the ordinances where the text hadn’t been amended properly, and so this is just really housekeeping, to clean up the text. People can still apply for exactly the same things that they have been applying for, but they all come in under the same name now, not two different names.”

The amendment would also update the name of Loop Road to Pegasus Parkway. Loop Road is what the road was called back during its planning stages.

An amendment to the County Zoning Ordinance addressing membership, officer selection, the conduction of public hearings and administrative issues was also discussed.

Changes included removal from position on the Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission for members who miss more than three consecutive meetings. The board meets once a month – on the second Thursday of every month – in the Troup County Commission meeting room at 100 Ridley Ave. The amendment also clarified that members could not discuss any pending matters before the board outside of a public hearing with the exception of other board members and staff.

Commissioner Ellis Cadenhead expressed concern on lack of public input during special meetings, but he was reassured to hear that those meetings would primarily be used to work out problems or issues in the zoning ordinance and similar discussion where too many outside parties could derail the discussion. With the change, the public would still be able to express their opinions during public hearings and regular meetings.

“As long as we have these meetings in the public, and (they) can come sometimes, we need to make sure that they (the public) are able to do that,” said Commissioner Morris Jones.

The commission also authorized Tax Commissioner Shane Frailey to accept checks, money orders and electronic payments as the Troup County Commissioner in the meeting.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on February 7 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave, when they plan to vote on these amendments.

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.