Are you ready for a Special Event near you? Jasper County Citizens, what do YOU want?
November 20, 2017
Despite two requests to see a copy of the proposed Special Events ordinance, we have yet to receive a copy from the P&Z Director, Shane Sealy. The ad ran in the paper this past week for a public hearing, but there was and has been no information available to the public.
There will be a public hearing before the P&Z Board for a Special Event Permit on 11/30/17 at 6:00PM. There is NO Special Event ordinance in the Jasper County code of ordinances. Why is this hearing being advertised and held while so many people are out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday? Why is it at 6:00PM, when in the past P&Z hearings were always at 7:00PM so more people could attend?
Hoping that the P&Z Board members had information to share, TWG contacted one of the members. There was no information from Shane Sealy to them either before the ad went in the paper; they finally received a copy of the ordinance sometime this morning. It appears the P&Z director and most likely, the county attorney developed this ordinance in the shadows. Interestingly enough, the county website already shows a $500 fee for the Special Event permit. How can that be when there is no permit or ordinance allowing Special Events????
The BOC has never requested that this ordinance be developed nor has one been discussed at any BOC meeting. So why now?
Could it be for Motocross racing?
This past February people, farm animals, and wildlife that live on and near Millen Road (off Hwy 212 W) were about to get a rude awakening from a weekend of motorcycle racing. This event was planned without warning or notice to the public and even encouraged by the Monticello-Jasper County Chamber of Commerce. If it were not for persistent questions as to the legality of this race in an AG district by citizens, it would have happened without a peep from our BOC. This event would have involved keeping our ambulance(s), deputies, and other emergency personnel on site.
Since that time, the land off Hwy 212 W at Millen Rd. has been turned into a motocross track. Were the proper permits obtained? And is this activity allowed in an AG district? Any “event” use is in violation of the Agriculture zoning.
The continued use of Bennett Cove as a venue has been repeatedly questioned.
Bennett Cove is still advertising on the internet as a get-away, a bed & breakfast, and a wedding venue. Four or five full trash cans can be seen sitting on the road outside the gates after a weekend “event.” Why would they need a permit, when they can and have been doing what they want without any type of permit or any consequences for violating the laws?
The County Manager says that “there is nothing they (the county) can do because Bennett Cove says they are not charging.” Even though Bennett Cove advertises on the internet on various sites, we are not so sure they have never charged a dime….
The public hearing for the Special Event Permit
The public hearing will be held the week after Thanksgiving, November 30 at 6PM. This will give the public very little notice and time to find out what is being proposed, will be right after a holiday, and held at 6PM instead of the regular 7PM time that would allow more people to get home from work and attend.
Jasper County Citizens, what do you want?
People have moved here and live here in Jasper County for peace and quiet; they will need to step up and voice their opinion on this proposal. It is our opinion that people that have been living here and their quality of life is more important than special events that disrupt their peace and quiet and upset their animals to bring in a few “tourist dollars” for a weekend.
Put yourself into these situations— a wild weekend party with loud music into the night next door to where you live. An all weekend motocross race with the sound of 500 2-stroke engines whining all day long. An all day concert. Think about how these “events” could affect you.
ATTEND THE MEETING to make your concerns known. The P&Z Board DOES LISTEN!
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.