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8-7-04 Oconee Citizens Question Developer Influence on Planning Commission

A frequent complaint has been that few homeowners or just plain citizens are on the Planning Commission.  The recent appointment of a grading contractor has ignited a storm of protest among persons who have been opposing MPDs in recent months.

AVOC

 

August 5, 2004

 

Oconee BOC Appoints Development Representative to Planning Commission

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

Many complaints in recent months related to MPDs and ordinance enforcement has centered around Developer Influence in the Process.

 

The County BOC appoints eight members of the Planning Commission.  It seems that at least half of those appointees are connected to the Development Industry.  Some may have connections as subcontractors, investors or through employment.

 

A frequent complaint has been that few homeowners or just plain citizens are on the Planning Commission.  The recent appointment of a grading contractor has ignited a storm of protest among persons who have been opposing MPDs in recent months.

 

The Planning Commission makeup and its mission appear below.

Planning Commission

Background Info

SEE:  http://www.oconeecounty.net/Government/Planning/index.htm

 

The Oconee County Planning Commission is a joint endeavor between Oconee County and the cities of Bishop, Bogart, North High Shoals and Watkinsville. It has been in existence since the 1960s and currently has twelve members – eight appointed by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners and one appointed by each city’s Mayor and Council.

The Planning Commission reviews rezone requests, Conditional Use Permit requests, and variance requests and then forwards a recommendation to the elected body (BOC or Mayor and Council) under whose jurisdiction the request falls. The Planning Commission also reviews and approves or denies Preliminary Plats and Preliminary Site Plans for new developments

 

BOC Appointed Members


Post 3:  Frances Cochran, Chair           --Retired Administrative     Asst UGA Extension
Post 4:  Bill Ramsey, Acting Sec.         --Professor, UGA School of Environmental Design
Post 1:  Jim Ivey                                     --Business Man- Local Leader in Republican Party
Post 2:  Jim Butler                                  --Business Man- Benson’s Fruit Cakes
Post 5:  Bill Yarborough                          --Floral Business, Realtor- Local Leader Democrat Party  
Post 6:  Mike Maxey                               --President M-P Grading Contractors

Post 7:  Travis Marshall                    --Builder-Developer

Post 8:  Dan Arnold                         --Builder-Developer

 

City Appointed Members


Post 9:    Cody Lyon (W’ville)                  --Public Administration GA SoS

Post 10:  Jeff Thomas (NHS)                   --Mayor and Teacher Morgan County

Post 11: Tom Peavey (Bogart)                 --Heating & Air Business

Post 12:  Emerson Smith (Bishop)           --Business


8-7-04 BOC Makes Appointments to Planning Commission

The Athens Banner-Herald           August 5, 2004

       http://onlineathens.com/stories/080504/new_20040805025.shtml

 

MPD outbursts overshadowed other key items

Oconee County Commission

By Mike D'Avria

………..

At one point, commission Chairman Melvin Davis told spectators he would call the sheriff's office if they did not maintain order.

Not long afterward, though, it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop as the commission approved the conservation subdivision, dubbed Stone Creek Manor, even though the majority of the crowd was still in attendance waiting for their chance to speak their mind during the public comment portion of the meeting. ……………

Homes in Stone Creek Manor will range from 2,000 to 3,500 square feet in size and will cost $25,000 or more.

Also later Tuesday, the commission made two appointments to the Oconee County Planning Commission, which meets once a month to make recommendations to the county commission on land-use issues like rezonings and conditional-use permits.

The commission re-appointed William Ramsey, who has been on the planning commission for 12 years, and named Michael Maxey to the planning commission.

Ramsey has been a professor in the University of Georgia's College of Environment and Design for 27 years.

Maxey has been the president of M&P Grading Contractors for 13 years and graduated from Oconee County High School.

Nine people applied for the two positions, which have four-year terms.


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