October 5, 2016
At the BOC meeting Monday night, October 3, four commissioners conducted business. Comm. Trammell was absent due to sickness. Two of the items on the agenda were the reason for holding the meeting upstairs in the small courtroom.
GETTING NOISE UNDER CONTROL
At the meeting in September several suggestions were made to change the Jasper County Noise Ordinance. The 1st reading of the proposed ordinance, including some of those changes, was held Oct. 3.
Several people had contacted Mr. Sealy about who would enforce this ordinance, since it is not spelled out. He said Section 18-22 states who is going to enforce it, and that is the Sheriff’s office.
Others questioned the fine and how or if it would increase for habitual offenders, as incentive to comply with ordinance. Some asked who was going to be fined—the property owner or the renter/user of the property.
This new noise ordinance passed 4-Ø, with fines being added, which were $250 for the first offense, $500 for the 2nd, and $1000 for the 3rd. The next hearing will be October 24th at 6:00PM.
ALCOHOL DENIED ON HWY 142
Also at a September meeting, the pouring license for Haystack Wings & Thangs, LLC was denied. Under the code, they had 30 days to appeal that decision and have a re-hearing. That appeal hearing was held October 3.
Comm. Pennamon had all those against go first, so that the applicant could rebut the comments.
Those against or those that had questions went first.
Since the establishment has to be a restaurant first and foremost, there were questions about compliance. Is this going to be a restaurant or a bar? Is the parking adequate? Is there lighting all around the building? Do they have facilities to cook daily as a restaurant as the code requires? Is this really a place to gather and eat and talk and have a drink, or is this going to be a drinking and dancing place?
Citizens living near the proposed business said there were no advantages to residents of Farrah or for Jasper County. The business was very close to churches and homes. It was on a busy highway at a bad intersection. There was no specific driveway to pull in or out . There had always been outside drinking and drugs at this business when it was operated by others. There had been a minimum of 2 deaths already.
Those in favor went next.
Most everyone that spoke, was related to Toyoir West, the owner of the proposed restaurant. (Remember, this business has already been approved to operate a restaurant. The hearing was about serving poured drinks.) Ms. West’s father, sister, and an employee at the restaurant spoke in favor.
The first complaint was Ms. West was being stereotyped. Another said you can not judge one by what another did. It was pointed out that 95% of people that come to the restaurant are white. The restaurant had been opened for about 5 days. Skin color was also pointed out.
Ms. West than said that Jasper County has to grow, and that this would be a restaurant opened on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and not a bar. However, she did say that her intention was to have a restaurant in the day and entertainment late at night with security and patrons over 25. She said this establishment is being picked on, and her civil liberties are being violated.
The BOC voted 3-1 to deny the appeal, and therefore deny the pouring license. Comm. Pennamon allowed Ms. West to have another say, and she said her civil rights were violated, and ended with, “I will be forced to bring litigation against each of you.”
The next BOC meeting will be October 24, 2016 at 6:00PM. The 2nd reading and vote on the Noise Ordinance will be presented and there will be a 2nd hearing on the Short Term Work Program. See “plans” for Jasper County here. Make sure you take time to review this document and understand how this will affect you, your property taxes, and your county.
Hope to see you October 24, 2016 at the BOC meeting.