September 6, 2015
Based on the comments on both the blog and Facebook concerning the junkyard and shabby appearance of Jasper County, it seems people in Jasper County don’t like dealing with the Planning & Zoning department.
The last blog had two pictures of a property questioning the conversion of a pole barn to a house. The owner of that property, Mike McCombie, has made several comments on the blog and on Facebook. He says it absolutely meets the building codes of Jasper County and has asked TWG to remove the information from the blog. He also says it will not be a house but a barn; we stand by our comments on what Mr. Cherry told us. We are going to honor Mr. McCombie’s request and delete that part of the blog. It will be up to building inspector/code enforcement officer, Brad Cherry, to make the determination according to the codes in effect.
We were also emailed comments on the junkyard. Junkyards in Jasper County must have a Special Use permit. The code doesn’t say how much it cost and what is involved. However, the new Junkyard shown in the blog does not have a special use permit and does not meet State Law.
State law says the junkyard must have screening:(32-6-241)-(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to establish, operate, or maintain any junkyard, except: (1) Those which are screened by natural objects, plantings, fences, or other appropriate means or which are otherwise removed from sight so as not to be visible from the main traveled way of any interstate or federal-aid primary highway or any road of a county or municipal road system.
The office of Planning & Zoning has 4 responsibilities—Zoning issues, Code Enforcement, Permits, and Building Inspections. Some of these responsibilities overlap.
If you are interested in what the rules are, here is a link to the county code for Jasper County, GA:
You might be surprised about some things in the code. Cell towers are covered, and so is the accumulation of litter and waste and on your property. Animal control and alcoholic beverages are also covered, as is fire protection, roads & bridges, and solid waste. Land development and building regulations are covered.
There is a chart of permitted uses for each zoning designation in the county. You would have to see the land use map to know where each designation is. If the people of this county don’t like what is in the code, they can have it changed by submitting changes to the Planning & Zoning board.
Something that seems to cause the most heartburn for people is all the permits required to do anything on your own property. By going through the code, here are the permits we found (there could be more): Building, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roof, driveway culvert, prefab metal carport, land disturbance, timber harvesting, seawall, occupational tax for businesses, and health permits for some businesses. There are two reasons for these permits: 1-to bring in additional money, and 2-so the county knows what you are doing to your house or on your property, and then they can tax you for the “improvements.”
If you agree with the codes or not, as long as they are in existence, they need to be applied equally. Either everyone has to follow them or no one has to follow them. If the majority of people in Jasper County don’t like them, then they need to get together and change them.