Jasper once again extends residential rezoning moratorium

City Council
City Hall / Moratorium

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — The Jasper City Council once again extended a moratorium on residential rezonings during their July 11 meeting. The moratorium, first adopted in August of 2021, has now been extended three times.

Resolution No. 2022-10, unanimously passed by the council, extends the moratorium on “all rezonings, rezoning applications received after the passage of this moratorium, and the issuance of all building permits that would require or necessitate a residential rezoning within the City of Jasper” until October 15, 2022.

City Manager Sonia Jammes said the additional extension came “as a result of the complexity of drafting a modified zoning ordinance and the current efforts at master planning the utilities system.”

The resolution itself gives a more in-depth reason for the moratorium, reading in part: “to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to controlled residential growth by way of zoning ordinance for the City of Jasper, Georgia, including enacting new zoning regulations pursuant to said approach, to create a balance of development within the City between residential, commercial, and industrial development in order that the City may continue to have a high standard of living, and have appropriate zoning regulations to balance a private property owner’s right to a reasonable use of their property which is balanced against the need to have these uses be within appropriate districts and areas of the City and prevent negative impact to the property surrounding said uses and also make determinations as to the availability of water and sewer service.

The resolution again says that during the moratorium period, the city intends to do a “complete and comprehensive updating of the zoning ordinance as to residential uses and determine capacity and availability of its water and sewer service.”

The council also passed Resolution No. 2022-11 during the same meeting. This resolution, entitled Temporary Residential Annexation Moratorium, places a moratorium on “all residential annexations, and residential annexation applications received after your passage of this moratorium, and applying to all annexations that would require or necessitate a residential zoning within the City of Jasper.”

Similar to Resolution No. 2022-10, this resolution expresses the necessity of the moratorium to combat unchecked growth and provide time for the city to prepare coming expansion. “The City Council of the City of Jasper, Georgia, intends during the time period of the temporary moratorium to start the expansion of the water plant and the waste water plant,” Section Three reads.” The City of Jasper has been working to begin an expansion of its Water Pollution Control Plant and recently received an almost $11 million loan package to do so.

Other Business

City Manager Sonia Jammes discussed a proposal for outsourcing the city’s residential sanitation services. She explained that the city is currently in discussion with Waste Pro USA to bring a “built-in efficiency” to sanitation services with “more defined customer delivery benefits.”

Jammes said outsourcing residential services is the first step of the city’s new service delivery strategy, which also aims to benefit the city’s workforce: “Our number of workforce that we currently have are stretched thin to not only take care of our sanitation services, our streets and parks, and making sure that we have all of our right-of-ways mowed. We are pulling from the same pool of staff for all of these items.”

The council also approved purchases of body cameras, computers, and other equipment for the Police Department as well as the reclassification of some firefighter job positions at the request of Chief John Sherrer.

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