Jasper City Council extends moratorium on residential rezoning

City Council
City Council extends moratorium

PICKENS, Ga. — The Jasper City Council extended their moratorium on residential rezoning Monday evening. The moratorium, which will expire in June of this year, is the city’s latest move to tackle a growing concern over increased development in rural communities. Like many municipalities in the surrounding area, the City Council is already in the process of reviewing and proposing changes to the city’s zoning ordinances.

Resolution No. 2022-02, entitled Extension to Temporary Moratorium, was passed by the council on Feb. 7.  The resolution will extend the temporary moratorium adopted on Aug. 26, 2021 for an additional 90 days.

In part, the resolution reads:

“WHEREAS, The Jasper Water Plant and the Waste Water Treatment Plant are nearing their maximum permitted capacity, and the City Council has approved several extensive developments that will utilize further capacity at said plants;

WHEREAS, the City of Jasper, Georgia is experiencing extremely strong residential growth, and which necessitates review, study, and modification of residential densities and in order to adequately plan for and serve the residents of the City;

WHEREAS, The City Council of the City of Jasper, Georgia, in order to facilitate controlled residential growth within the City and to update the zoning ordinance, adopted on August 26, 2021 a temporary moratorium as to all rezonings, rezoning applications and building permits related to residential rezonings until March 1, 2022 to draft and enact modified residential provisions within the zoning ordinance;

WHEREAS, the complexity of drafting modified residential provisions and the development of a comprehensive plan of regulations necessitates a ninety (90) day extension to the moratorium.”

Speaking on the resolution, City Attorney David Syfan said, “This is just to give the committee additional time to be able to make any informed recommendation to the council for the needed changes.” Syfan also noted that the moratorium and review process should result in amendments to Jasper’s zoning ordinances. The newly extended moratorium will end June 1, 2022.

Other Business

Mayor Steve Lawrence was absent from the Feb. 7 meeting but attended virtually. Mayor Pro Tem Kirk Raffield, who led the meeting in the mayor’s absence, confirmed that Mayor Lawrence had tested positive for COVID-19.

The council also approved a purchase sale agreement between the City of Jasper and Jasper’s Downtown Development Authority. The agreement would transfer Perrow Park back into the city’s ownership. Ownership of the park, as City Manager Sonia Jammes explained, would allow the city “to demolish some of the structures on the property that are unsafe for our citizens.” Jasper’s City Attorney  also noted that the city will be obligated to pay off outstanding loans on the park property. A joint meeting between the city and the Jasper DDA will be held on Feb. 15, 2022 to authorize the purchase sale agreement.

New City of Jasper Fire Department and Certificate of Occupancy fee schedules were also approved by the council.

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