The BOC will likely approve the rezoning request for 8 acres on the corner of S. Brock Rd. and Highway 129. CSJ opposes this rezoning because it will disrupt the nearby neighborhood and adjecent landowners, reduce safety, elevate the nuisances that go along with a regional restaurant and store, and affect property values that could negatively impact some of the residents of the area. in addition, this regional commercial establishment will be a further crack in the dam, inviting more commercial development in our rural community.
CSJ has developed a list of conditions which we hope the BOC will attach to any rezoning. These conditions are meant to protect the neighborhood and the rural character of our entire community.
Here is a list of the conditions submitted to the BOC on February 1, 2021:
Conditions for the proposed Striplings development
Submitted by Citizens for South Jackson as conditions for rezoning
Note: Citizens for South Jackson (CSJ) opposes the “Striplings” rezoning request because approving this application to rezone would be arbitrary and capricious (based on earlier County decisions for the same property), the development location will disrupt and perhaps destroy the surrounding neighborhood, the rural character of South Jackson will be impaired, and the local community is opposed to the development. Best planning practices suggest that a different location, closer to existing commercial, would be the wiser siting decision. The following conditions are offered because of the County’s history of ignoring similar landowner and community objections when Dollar General was approved 4 years ago, and the arbitrary and capricious decisions made by the Planning Staff and Planning Commission on this rezoning request. If the BOC votes to approve the rezoning request and ignore the above factors, we respectfully request that the following conditions be required to reduce the impact on the neighborhood and protect the safety and privacy of adjacent landowners.
1. Designate Brock Road as a “no access” road. Prohibit any ingress and egress between Brock Road and the proposed development. This condition is vital to the safety and protection of the neighborhood. Mr. Swafford, the adjacent landowner, noted that “on Item 1 regarding no access on Brock Rd., [this item is] for safety reasons to keep traffic to a minimum considering multiple neighborhood residents are disabled and for children who ride their bikes on the road.”
2. Impact Fee Assessment: In 1990, the Georgia Development Impact Fee Act (DIFA) was enacted into law. DIFA significantly affected the way local governments in Georgia pay for public services and facilities. Impact fees are one-time fees charged to land developers to help defray the costs of expanding capital facilities to serve new growth. Jackson County will assess an impact fee on the proposed development to cover the cost of all public services associated with the development.
3. The only entrance and exit for traffic for this development shall be from Highway 129.
4. Restrict operating hours to 7 AM until 7 PM Monday through Saturday, 12 PM to 6 PM Sunday. These hours will provide some relief for the residents from the noise, lighting, and traffic that will undoubtedly be a part of this regional commercial development.
5. Restrict delivery hours to 9 AM until 3 PM Monday through Friday.
6. Prohibit all billboards and sign advertisements on the property, including electronic billboards on any portion of the 8 acres. Billboards are visual pollution and are out of line with the county goal of keeping Jackson County rural and the rural character of South Jackson.
7. No outdoor sales, including ice machines, newspapers, etc., are allowed on this property This condition is a part of the overlay restrictions; however Dollar General is prohibited from having any outdoor sales and they have outdoor sales items on display every day. The County told CSJ that they do not have enough staff to monitor whether Dollar General is upholding the conditions, which were required for approval. We ask that the BOC require that this condition be upheld and enforced.
8. No outdoor art or figures that disrupt the rural character of the area. A photo of a stripling’s online shows two large metal pink pigs on the outside of either side of the building. Such items are out of character and constitute visual clutter for a rural area. This condition will help conserve the rural look of our community.
9. Prohibit all lighted signs except one monument sign near the entrance and exit on Highway 129. This sign should be lighted with shaded lights (no internal lighting) only between the hours of 7 AM to 9 AM, and 5 PM to 7 PM weekdays and Saturdays, 5 PM to 7 PM on Sundays. There will be only one sign on the building. This building sign will be lighted with shaded lights pointing down to illuminate only the lettering.
10. Maximum height of the monument sign will be 4 feet, and this sign should be placed near the entrance on Highway 129. This sign will be lighted with shaded lights pointing down onto the sign’s lettering. This sign will not be lighted internally.
11. All lighting must be covered and facing downward.
Light pollution is an anathema to a rural community, and South Jackson is no exception. Excessive lighting is disturbing to the neighborhood, is distracting to nighttime traffic, and has a harmful impact on nocturnal wildlife. Adhere to the standards set out by the Dark Sky Association to minimize the harmful effects of light pollution. Lighting should:
· Only be on when needed
· Only light the area that needs illumination
· Be no brighter than necessary
· Minimize blue light emissions
· Be fully shielded (pointing downward)
Adhere to standards specified by https://www.darksky.org/our-work/lighting/lighting-for-citizens/lighting-basics/
12. Maintain a 50-foot buffer between the developed area and adjacent private property, including Brock Road, to the west and south of the proposed development. This buffer should include staggered thick evergreen vegetation from the property line inward and will include a 7-foot solid wooden fence on the side closest to the development and placed 40 feet from adjacent property lines and Brock Road. A visual buffer will be established on the side adjacent to Highway 129 that will follow the guidelines included in the Corridor Overlay.
13. A noise ordinance shall be in effect for the property. Noise will not exceed 55 decibels (This is a U.S. EPA standard.)
14. There will be no gas station on this property. Two gas stations are already available 1 mile north and 3 miles south of this property. Another gas station is not needed.
15. At least 40% of the pavement shall be pervious surface. Minimize the amount of pavement used overall.
16. Parking will be provided on the south, west, and north sides of the building. There will be no parking on the east side facing Hwy. 129. Due to the need for a buffer to protect the neighborhood, the building will be sited as close to Highway 129 as feasible and as far north as possible. Because there will be no parking on the Highway 129 side, the building can be sited closer to the highway, leaving enough room for traffic entering and exiting, for pedestrians entering the building, and for attractive landscaping at the front of the building.
17. The perimeter of the property on the east side (at Highway 129) will have a vegetated buffer that follows, at a minimum, the Corridor Overlay standards.
18. As much land as possible will be left in a natural and native condition, including trees, grass, and maintained plants and shrubs. Cleared land not used for the building or parking footprint will be restored to a natural forested condition, as it was before it was illegally cleared by the previous landowner. All landscaping will be attractively and naturally maintained. No spraying with herbicides or pesticides will be allowed. The building and parking footprint will be as small as possible. The vegetation will be ecologically and sustainably maintained.
19. The building will be designed to be in character with the rural nature of South Jackson County. Colors will be natural and made to blend with the surrounding landscape. The entire building exterior will be a natural color of brick or stone.
20. The building will not be taller than one story. The existing Striplings design is not in character with rural South Jackson County. A design like the Cracker Barrel is more in line with the rural character of South Jackson County. See photos. Striplings claims to be a general store. Its design should look like a rural general store to lessen the visual clutter of this regional commercial business in rural South Jackson and protect the visual integrity of the area.
21. The developers will be required to submit a building design and landscaping plan to the County and a committee from CSJ for negotiation and approval prior to building approval. The citizens of South Jackson will have to live with this visual intrusion if the BOC approves it, and they should have a say in what it looks like.
22. Every effort will be made by the developers and the County on an ongoing basis to reduce or eliminate any impact on surrounding residences and lands.
23. Adjacent landowners and homeowners shall have the right to request that these conditions be upheld and that the County enforce these conditions and that the developers and the County are held accountable for violations.
With kind regards,
Babs, Ken, and Gina