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 FRONT PAGE - JUNE 30, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

FIREWORKS LIGHT UP SKY


Samuel Stephens and Erik Merrell, Maysville, are shown watching the fireworks display in Homer Sunday night. The Homer Fire Department hosts the annual fireworks display. The event is sponsored through donations from Banks County residents, merchants and the town of Homer.
ZONING

Planners strengthen regulations for MH coming into county
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Banks County officials are making plans to strengthen regulations on mobile homes coming into or being moved within the county once they reach seven years of age.
On Tuesday night, the planning commission approved new regulations for these mobile homes to ensure safe housing for residents of Banks County, according to chairman Harold Ivey.
The former commissioners approved regulations that would require these homes to be inspected by a "building inspector for the state of Georgia," but there is no such person, according to county marshal Keith Covington.
"There is no such person in the state, therefore, we had something that we could not enforce," said Covington.
Under the new regulations, a mobile home over seven years old cannot be moved into the county unless it has been given the stamp of approval from building inspector Tony Vento. Also, a mobile home over seven years old cannot be moved inside the county unless it is approved by Vento and meets the United States Housing and Urban Development construction standards.
Ivey said that if it was up to him, the regulations would be from three to five years, instead of seven. Vento recommended the seven-year guideline because that is what is required by the state, Ivey explained.
Gene Martin voiced opposition to the inspection process. He said that the housing for many Banks County residents is less than standard at the present time.
"You've got people in the county now that you'd be surprised at what they're living in," he said. "If you've got a trailer to give them, what difference should it make. If they live like they live, they can't afford to bring them up to the standards."
Ivey said: "We are just trying to stop kids from getting burned up in those old trailers."
Martin said it can happen in houses just the same.
The planning commission did not take action on the portion of the ordinance that dealt with mobile home parks. They, along with the BOC, agreed that it needs to be revised with stricter regulations. The BOC is expected to vote on the mobile home regulations during its meeting on Tuesday, July 13, at 7:30.
The proposed regulations have no impact on new mobile homes coming into the county. The county regulations for tie-downs, foundations, etc., must still be met and approved by Vento.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

'Good Citizen' award to be given at Chamber barbecue
The "Good Citizen" award will be presented Thursday, July 8, when the Banks County Chamber of Commerce holds its annual barbecue.
The event will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at White Plains Plantation, Homer. The dress will be casual.
Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to the Chamber office at 677-2108. The price is $13.50 per person.

COMMUNITY

Burglars rob elderly woman after blindfolding her
An elderly West County Line Road woman escaped serious injuries following a home invasion early Thursday morning.
Margaret Chandler was awakened from sleep when she heard a peck on the window, according to Banks County sheriff Charles Chapman. She picked up the telephone to call 911 and reportedly found that her line was dead. At that point, a young man threw a brick into her window, stuck his head in the window and told her to open the door, according to Chapman. Chandler was blindfolded with cloth and duct tape and then the man said, "We've heard you've got money and we want it."
Chandler said she then heard the man and what she believes to be a female begin ransacking her home. The suspects made off with a small amount of money, Chandler's purse, several pieces of jewelry and an antique clock, Chapman continued.
Once the suspects left the residence, Chandler walked to a neighboring residence and called for help. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Banks County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident and there are some leads in the case, Chapman said.

LOCAL NEWS

Three fatalities reported in holiday weekend wrecks
One-third of the fatalities over the July 4 holiday weekend were in Banks County. Three local people lost their lives in two separate accidents in Banks County over the weekend. Ten fatalities were reported across the state for the three-day holiday period.
Late Friday evening, 18-year-old Alana Dawn Harris, Homer, reportedly drifted over the center line in her 1996 Saturn on Apple Pie Ridge Road. Her car struck a late model Jeep Renegade driven by Steven Erwin, 44, of Cornelia. Harris, a rising senior at Banks County High School, died upon impact and Erwin's 14-year-old son, Matthew, died Sunday from severe head injuries. S. Erwin was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and listed in critical condition following the accident, but his condition has since been upgraded. Erwin's daughter, Lacey, 11, walked away without injuries.
In an unrelated accident in downtown Homer, Francisco Martinez, 30, Alto, was killed Saturday afternoon when a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Mark Hicks, 16, Lula, struck a 1989 Buick Century driven by Mary Faries. Martinez was a passenger in Faries' car. Hicks, who was traveling south on Hwy. 441, reportedly crossed the median and hit the vehicle head on in an attempt to avoid hitting a dog in the road. Martinez was sent by "life flight" helicopter to Gwinnett Medical Center but was dead upon arrival.

GOVERNMENT
BOC looks at reversing
policy on fee for contractors
The Banks County Board of Commissioners met Friday to review the administrative procedures for registering building contractors.
The BOC is considering dropping the $25 registration fee it recently agreed to charge to individual contractors, according to BOC chairman James Dumas.
Building inspector Tony Vento has recommended that the contractors pay a permit fee for each individual job instead, Dumas continued. The BOC will consider adopting that policy when it meets on Tuesday, July 13.
In other business, the BOC discussed plans for an employee cookout. It will be sponsored by the BOC and other elected officials and will not be paid for with taxpayers money, according to Dumas.



Homer committee begins zoning
BY DREW BRANTLEY
The Homer city leaders are beginning the process of designating a zoning classification on each tract of land in the town.
The zoning committee met Thursday to begin the arduous task of placing each piece of property in the city in the proper zone. After meeting for more than two hours, the committee had completed about one-third of the zoning designations. The committee will meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday at city hall. Plans are for the mapping to be completed then.
Zoning does not necessarily correspond to land use. However, the land is used as a guide for how the properties are zoned, according to Tom O'Bryant of the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center.
The committee must decide whether each parcel is single-family residential, multi-family, commercial business, road business, institutional use or agricultural. For mapping purposes, each designation is assigned a color.
"When you finish your map, most of it will be yellow (single-family) or green (agricultural)," O'Bryant said. "You're not going to make everybody happy, but you must try to be as consistent as possible."
ZONING

Two breeder hen houses get planning commission approval
BY SHERRY LEWIS
The Banks County Planning Commission approved an application for two heavy breeder hen houses on Shady Grove Road during its meeting Tuesday evening.
Tal Martin told the planning commission about his plans to purchase 29.25 acres if he got the approval to build the chicken houses. The planning commission gave him the nod with the stipulation that the land have a clear title before he gets a building permit to begin construction.
In other business, the planning commission:
·approved an application by Bruce Peyton for rezoning property on Hwy. 441 from agricultural rural residential (ARR) to commercial agriculture district (CAD.)
·approved a conditional use application by Davis Brothers to replace the current advertising sign with one that exceeds 35 feet on Hwy. 441.
·tabled a conditional use application by Buddharam Khambouneaung Inc. for a temple at Hamby Park. Khambouneaung did not attend the meeting.
·tabled an application by Tim Simmons for rezoning property on Hill Road from ARR to general commerical (C-2) for an electrical shop. Simmons did not attend the meeting.
The Banks County Board of Commissioners will take final action on all of the applications that were approved during a public hearing and meeting on Tuesday, July 13, at 7 p.m. in the courthouse.


The Banks County News - Homer, Georgia
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