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8-26-05 Oconee Zoning, Growth & Lack of Plan or Vision

Ray Goff and Tom Little will be following Bob Cain on rezoning of some of the Price Mill Road- Gober Road -Steinemann Property recently split up from a 900 + or – acre tract to the west of Bishop—far from any schools, fire stations or stores.



August 17, 2005


Oconee Zoning, Growth & Lack of Plan or Vision


By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.


In recent years, Oconee County has effectively abandoned its Land Use Plan Map.  Rezones, MPDs, residential subdivisions are going anywhere a developer can buy land.   Development is sprawling all over the county. Fire stations, firemen, police stations, schools are just some of the needs to be faced as a result of an “open door” policy toward residential development.  


Much of the development is not noticed by many of us until we see it as we drive along roads in the county.  Even then, unless one travels a lot of county roads, one does not have a real picture of what has been happening.





 Location of Oconee Approved MPDs 2004


Metro-Atlanta track builders are here.  More and more land is being bought under other names but the builder is essentially the same in many of the developments- from Bishop, Flat Rock, Hog Mountain Road and U. S. 78.



Oconee GIS Zoning Map 2005 



Oconee Land Use Map 1996


The word just does not “get out” to citizens.  Reading of newspapers is low.  Most of us are really busy.   What happens at a BOC meeting is not important except as to the extent the public knows or understands it.


Recently, I was talking to a person who has owned property for 15 years or more in the county.  He is educated and informed.  He served on a Citizen Advisory Committees in the Late 90's.  He did not know the current jail is scheduled for demolition until I told him.


Recently, I spoke to a men's group about the direction of the county and some concerns.  Some in the group also expressed concerns about the direction of the county.  In one on one conversations, many folks express concern about the rate of growth and direction of the county.


The most recent headline zoning in Oconee saw a crowd show up at the August 2, 2005, meeting of the BOC, to oppose and speak against the Waste Site location on GA Highway 15 near the south side of Watkinsville.  Some were there because it was in their neighborhood. 

Ray Goff spoke for the rezone and did not win any new friends in the county.  However, Ray has been there for developments in the Mars Hill Road area for sometime.  The “Growth” has now “jumped across the railroad tracks” in Watkinsville. 


Ray Goff and Tom Little will be following Bob Cain on rezoning of some of the Price Mill Road-

Gober Road -Steinemann Property recently split up from a 900 + or – acre tract to the west of Bishop—far from any schools, fire stations or stores.


7-30-05 Subdividing Large Tracts in Rural Oconee County

Lambert to RJC Development TT $,323.90; Bk 805, Page 627;     233.34 Acres – Price Mill Road -Dunagan—A – 07-028 Less: 66.75 to E Higginbotham;    8.5 Less 4.Acres- A-07-028B;   34.24 A-07-28 A; 36.899 Acres A – 07-027; 

            Sec Deed to Ag South $,459,000.00 Bk 805, Pg 630


 Tracts Acquired by RJC Development on Price Mill Road


Lambert to James R. Goff, Jr. Thomas R. Little, Joe L. Harrison III Bk 805, 640,     TT $,166.50  -- 2.75 acs. Sexton A- 07- 08A; 80.568 Acres A-07-026 (L. H. Carter tract) on Gober Road;

Sec Deed from Goff, Little and Harrison to Ag South Bk 805, Pg 642-  $29,500.00



 Goff - Little Tract on Gober Road West of Bishop



7-30-05 Oconee Land Use Plan Vs. Reality


For Comprehensive Plan- SEE: http://www.negrdc.org/counties/oconee/comprehensive-plans/cover.pdf


Cover Page for Oconee is dated March 1999.


Oconee Website http://www.oconeecounty.com/Government/Planning/index.htm


Directs to: NEGA RDC




2022 Land Use Map dated September 3, 2002



 ZONES By Color


Green              Agriculture

Pale Green –Transitional Ag

Pale Bronze – Low Density Residential

Yellow- Residential

Bronze – Office Professional

Red –Retail Commercial

Light Blue- Parks & Recreation

Growth Feedback for AVOC 8-3-05


-----Original Message-----
From: tl

Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 3:55 PM


I have to drive through Oconee to see my ---------- and/or my doctor in Athens.  Every road or highway I was driving has new construction. What is M--- D----- doing? Appears as though he is trying to outgrow Athens if he hasn't done so already. There is such a thing as outgrowing your own britches.



8-4-05 Report on Oconee Waste Site Zoning Issue at Oconee BOC Meeting on 8-2-05


Citizens for Oconee’s Future, Inc.

P O Box 1301

Watkinsville, GA  30677



August 4, 2005

Subject: Rezone application for waste transfer station on Hwy. 15

By Charlie Baugh, President

By now many of you know that the Board of Commissioners voted to deny the application for rezone from A1 to I for the waste transfer facility.  The vote was unanimous.  It is good that so many citizens wrote, e mailed and called the Commissioners on this issue.  About 100 attended the hearing and several spoke, detailing the impact on their life and property.  The Board allowed the applicant to withdraw the companion request for conditional use permit to operate the facility in an industrial zone since they had denied the rezone to industrial.

Those who have an interest in this should not relax.  The applicant was represented by
counsel and both this hearing and the Planning Commission hearing were recorded by applicant's court reporter.  Assuming a lawsuit is filed, those who stand to lose if the rezone is approved should be prepared to do a lot of work in support of the county to see that their interests are protected.  It is possible the applicant will reapply, asking for a conditional use permit in an agricultural zone.  The ordinance allows waste transfer stations in A zones with a conditional use permit.

It was good to see a number of citizens attend the hearing who did not have a direct interest in the rezone.  I am hopeful that as time goes on and more citizens realize what an impact the county development policies have we will see more who pay attention to the actions of this Board of Commissioners.  All citizens of the County are impacted by the development policies whether they are located next to a proposed garbage transfer station, stuck in traffic or pay ever rising property taxes.

8-3-05 Oconee BOC Votes Down Waste Rezone

The Athens Banner-Herald



August 3, 2005

Oconee votes to dump waste site

By Chris J. Starrs  Correspondent

WATKINSVILLE - The Oconee County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to uphold the recommendation of the county's planning commission and deny a rezoning request to allow a Watkinsville solid waste hauler to move his operation to a site on Ga. 15 outside the city limits.


A few minutes after their vote, commissioners unanimously allowed the petitioner to withdraw an application conditional-use permit to construct a transfer station on the site.  ….

Former Georgia football coach Ray Goff also weighed in on Elder's behalf.

"The bank and I own 200 acres about 100 feet from this site," said Goff. "I don't believe (Elder) would do anything to detract from his property or mine."