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1-5-05 Apalachee River Rezone of 837.6 acres by Oconee BOC PART 2

Chairman Davis Letter of 12.12.05: …….the average price of the houses under the requirements of the Conditional Zoning Ordinance will exceed $00,000.00. This home value should generate more than adequate tax revenues to pay the cost of schools and other government services associated with the new homes. **

 

AVOC Article 10-10-05: IT WOULD TAKE A HOUSE COSTING $50,000 PLUS JUST TO PAY THE LOCAL COST OF EACH STUDENT IN OCONEE SCHOOLS.

Oconee County Board of Commissioners

 

                                                                                    G. Melvin Davis, Chairman

 

 

December 12, 2005

 

 

Dr. Gary Noffke

Farmington, GA 30638

 

Dear Dr. Noffke:

 

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the two rezone applications in lower Oconee County for five-acre lot subdivisions.

 

A rezone application for one of these properties was previously denied by the Board of Commissioners for a denser subdivision of smaller lots, (earlier this year). Subsequent to that denial, the property owner filed suit against Oconee County challenging the constitutionality of said denial and the validity of our Zoning Ordinance. The Board of Commissioners held firm to its position against the denser rezone citing many of the issues you outlined in your e-mail.

 

Because of the BOC's position, the Plaintiff agreed to a consent order from the court for the lower density five-acre lot proposal. This was more in keeping with the original recommendations of our Planning Staff and our Future Land Use Plan and Comprehensive Plan.

 

Under the Georgia Constitution and Georgia law, property owners are entitled to a reasonable economic use of their property. Over the past +/-20 years, the courts have been less and less willing to hold that agricultural zoning land use restrictions are a reasonable economic use of property, especially in the faster growing portions of north-east Georgia like Oconee County and especially where proposed development densities are low. Other factors that support some form of developmental use include location of the property on a major State/Federal highway which can clearly accommodate the traffic and adequate environmental protection measures such as storm water management, soil erosion control measures and very low net density of one house per 6.2 acres.

 

Also, the average price of the houses under the requirements of the Conditional Zoning Ordinance will exceed $00,000.00. This home value should generate more than adequate tax revenues to pay the cost of schools and other government services associated with the new homes. ** The homes in the other subdivision are to be even larger and more expensive.

 

Another factor is compatibility of the estate size lots and mini-farm type densities with ongoing agricultural use such as timber production and cattle farms. Often times we see recreational animal use such as horses, pastures and barns on these five and six-acre parcels. This locks in the densities for years to come and prevents what might have been a higher density development in 10 or 20 years.

 

Another factor in our evolving land use is the retirement of many family farmers and the lack of interest of the next generation of the family to continue the farming tradition. Many of the young people are college graduates pursuing professional careers. Many others are entering the construction trades. With no one to continue the family farm and with the need for retirement income, many of these farmers want to or must sell their property. This is their retirement plan.

 

In the face of these and many other factors, local government officials must make difficult decisions that will stand up in court and which represent a compromise between the competing forces of historic and environmental preservation as opposed to the economic and legal realities.

 

We will continue to face such difficult decisions in our changing community. We always welcome input and opinions from our citizens. I have shared your comments and my response with the Board of Commissioners and our staff.

 

Thank you again for your input.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Melvin Davis

 

GMD/kdh

 

            cc:        Board of Commissioners

Matt Forshee, Director, Planning & Economic Development Wayne Provost, Director, Strategic & Long-Range Planning

 

**

12-14-04 Education Costs in Georgia (& Oconee County)

 

          The Oconee County School System published financial    information showing that $,711 per student in LOCAL funding is necessary to          fund the costs of education in Oconee County….

For developers and county leaders who talk about progress”, “quality development” etc, this local cost is ignored.  Folks, IT WOULD TAKE A HOUSE COSTING $50,000 PLUS JUST TO PAY THE LOCAL COST OF EACH STUDENT IN OCONEE SCHOOLS.

 

            10-10-05 Oconee County Schools Are “Thinking Big” – Too Big?

 

        "Affordable Housing" is coming to Oconee.  It will impact Schools and            tax bills.

        In Oconee County, it takes a piece of property with a fair market valueof $85,000 to support the local cost of educating one child. .

 

Property value......................................      $85,000

Assessed value ($85,000 x .40) . . .     $94,000

Millage rate ($94,000 x 15.5/1,000). .       $,007

Collection fee ($,007 X .025).................   $     75

 

Total Taxes Received................................$,932

 

10-10-05 Oconee County Schools Are “Thinking Big” – Too Big?

6-6-05 Economic Development, Increased Digest, Tax Relief is Just Talk in Oconee

 

From: Gary Noffke

Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 4:35 PM

To: Melvin Davis

Subject: South Oconee Rezoning

 

Dear Board of Commissioners,

 

Rezoning of land in Oconee County has become as rampant as greed and ignorance. What about planning and controlled growth? Do zoning laws exist just for developers to change? Your process makes rezoning easy for a few who profit and extremely difficult for citizens to stop. I have lived in Farmington for 35 years and know the changes in population, traffic, facilities and services affected by rapid growth. The county is being destroyed and rapidly approaching the look of Snellville.

 

People move here for the rural beauty. They move here for our good school system. Most of all they move here for the low property taxes. The advantages for living here are rapidly dissipating. Why move to rural Georgia to live in a subdivision? While the Planning Commission should be thinking about planning the infrastructure for what exists, it only passes on rezoning proposals to you to rubber stamp.

 

Athens is too far from the southern part of the county to get to a hospital in less than an hour. Right now, Watkinsville needs a hospital more than new subdivisions. Water and Sewage are rapidly becoming a big problem. Then there're the schools with additional taxes required that the current structure does not account for. Agricultural zoning was done to protect the land and the farmers. Changing it should require a referendum, not a quick vote by a handful. These decisions should be made by a consensus of the people, after due thought and process.

 

You five are making decisions that are unfair to you and to the citizens of the county. It appears to me and is my opinion that the only benefit of a rapidly growing area is a lot of money for a very few people. One could wonder if the board of commissioners is among the few. That is not my belief, but why would you continue to support all the development without adequate thought and planning? That brings the question as to what adequate thought and planning really is.

 

Quick decisions deny the intellectual  process. A lot of them have been made in the shade with the guise of due process. It is now necessary for the citizens of the county to change the zoning laws and take those decisions away from you.

 

Sincerely,

Gary Noffke

Professor Emeritus,

University of Georgia


From: Gary Noffke

Date: December 10, 2005 1:33:58 PM EST

To: "Melvin Davis" <mdavis@oconee.ga.us>

Subject: Re: South Oconee Rezoning

 

Dear Mr. Davis,

 

I've learned a bit about the zoning laws since my e-mail to you. My address: Gary Noffke, P.O. Box 776, Farmington, GA 30638. My physical address is 1921 Mayne Mill Rd., Farmington, GA. Thanks for your response.

 

Sincerely,

Gary Noffke

 

On Dec 10, 2005, at 1:28 PM, Melvin Davis wrote:

 

Dr. Noffke--

 

I have taken the opportunity to respond to your email with a letter.

Will you please send me your address so the letter may be mailed?  I

went into detail regarding legal, zoning and land use ramifications.

 

Thanks for your patience.

 

Melvin Davis


Msg.Rezone.12.7.05

 

From: "ABANA"

To: <avoc30677@hotmail.com>

CC: "Gary Noffke"

Subject: A Question

Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 09:41:18 -0500

 

Wendell,

 

Well we got slaughtered last night at the commissioners meeting...two 400 acres tracts of land along the Apalachee have been zoned AR-5...ouch.

 


From: Gary Noffke

Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 10:47 AM

To: AVOC

Subject: re-zoning in Oconee County

 

Hello Wendell,

 

Yesterday evening the BOC approved a re-zone of 1000 acres, plus or 

minus with a good bit of river frontage on the Appalachee. As I 

understand, it does not even have clear access to US 441 and will 

have to cross a private road to access the majority of the 5 acre 

lots. This is in direct conflict with the county's land use plan and 

map devised in 2002. ......

 

Re-Zoning has become a common accepted procedure that disregards 

the voice of the people, adequate thought and planning and due 

process. Traffic is already a nightmare on 441, water and  sewage 

problems are being ignored, services and facilities are already 

lacking and the tax structure forces the farmers to sell to developers……

Sincerely,

Gary Noffke

----------------------------------------------

The Regular Meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners was held on Tuesday, December 6, 2005, at 7:00 p.m., in the Commission Meeting Chambers, Oconee County Courthouse.

 

                               

Chairman Davis began the meeting with a Moment of Silence. Commissioner Horton led the Pledge of Allegiance.

…………………………..

Rezone Request #4757 - A.L.P. Development:  The Board held a public hearing on Rezone Request No. 4757 by A.L.P. Development, Inc., ± 421.84 acres, located on U.S. Hwy. 441, from A-1 to AR-5.

 

 

AVOC NOTE- Approximate Location by Oconee GIS Map & Tax Records

 

Abe Abouhamdan, representing the applicant, stated the property would be developed as a low density single-family residential subdivision with 79 residential lots of a minimum of 5.0 acres each.

 

Russ Page, Nancy Stangle, George West, Paul Paninski and Mark Farmer requested a condition to the rezone that would require an easement to develop a river walk along the Apalachee River.  Elise Lang requested an additional 100’ undisturbed natural buffer on all lots adjoining her property.  Lee Ann Mitchell, Jim Buonaccorsi and Violet Dawe expressed concerns for the ecological and environmental impact as well as traffic and public safety.

 

On motion by Commissioner Hale and second by Commissioner Horton, the Board unanimously approved Rezone Request No. 4757, with conditions, for a single-family residential subdivision (The Bend on the Apalachee).  See Documentation in Ordinances and Resolutions Book No. 16.

...................................

Rezone Request #4126 – Richard H. Garrett, Jr.:  The Board held a public hearing on Rezone Request No. 4126 by Richard H. Garrett, Jr., ± 415.76 acres, located on U.S. Hwy. 441, from A-1 to AR-5.

 

 

AVOC Note:  Approximate location by Oconee GIS and Tax Maps

 

The applicant’s representative, John Stell, noted the original application sought a rezone from A-1 to AR-1 Conservation Use Subdivision.  The applicant and property owner now desire to amend the original zoning application so as to seek a rezoning to an AR-5 Conservation Subdivision.

 

Russ Page and Rosemary Franklin (representing the Oconee County Clean and Beautiful Commission) requested a condition to the rezone that would require an easement to develop a river walk along the Apalachee River.  Lee Ann Mitchell and Violet Dawe expressed concerns for the environmental impact on the area.  Michael Payne said the installation of the proposed cul-de-sac would affect the entrance to his residence and stated he did not want the road closed or the cul-de-sac constructed.

 

On motion by Commissioner Norris and second by Commissioner Horton, the Board unanimously approved Rezone Request No. 4126, with conditions, for a single-family residential conservation use subdivision (The Trestle at Apalachee).  See Documentation in Ordinances and Resolutions Book No. 16.

 


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