Jackson County Courthouse

Impact fees could be coming on new homes in unincorporated Jackson County following action by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 4.

The BOC created an impact fee committee as required by state law to begin the process of adopting and putting fees into place. Seven members were named to the committee by the BOC at its meeting. The committee can't exceed 10 members and has to have at least 50% of its members coming from the building, development, banking or engineering community.

Named to the committee were: Bryan Allen, general manager of Traditions of Braselton; Walter Barnett, a building & contractor; Marty Clark, chairman of the Jackson County Planning Commission; Bill Cornell, VP of Precision Planning; Keith Hayes, president of Keith Hayes Construction and J&K Utilities; Donald Roberts, owner of Circle R Farms; and Steve Wittry, member of the JCPC and board of adjustments.

In a related move, the board also heard a proposal to hire consultant Jerry Weitz & Associates to create the county's impact fee ordinance, set fees and to do other technical parts of the project. Weitz is a planning consultant for several local governments and led the City of Hoschton through the impact fee adoption process last year.

The BOC will act on a proposal to contract with Weitz at its Oct. 18 meeting.

Last month, the BOC put a moratorium on new residential rezonings in unincorporated Jackson County for a year to give time for the creation of impact fees and to update the county's unified development codes. That move came following several months of public complaints about growth in the county, especially on the west side.

Babs McDonald representing a South Jackson community activist group encouraged the board on Oct. 4 to go further than just impact fees and to also consider the social, cultural and environmental impact of future residential growth.


In other business on Oct. 4, the BOC:

• discussed a proposed bid of $1.59 million from Spratlin & Son for the expansion of the county's animal shelter.

• voted to approve a vacation buy-back plan for county employees.

• discussed two ground leases for tower systems for the county's new public safety radio system.

• discussed routine updates to the county transit plan.


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