By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Effingham County commissioners unanimously approve R-6 zoning
Placeholder Image

The Effingham County Board of Commissioners recently voted and approved a motion to begin R-6 zoning in the county.

At the Effingham County Commissioners meeting on July 19 at the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Effingham County Administrative Complex, a recommendation was made by the Planning Board to approve the creation of an R-6 single family residential zoning district in Effingham County.

After discussion amongst the Board and staff about lot sizes and setback requirements, a motion to approve the first reading passed unanimously.

Among those attending the meeting were the six commissioners – Wendall Kessler (Chairman), Forrest Floyd (Vice Chair), Vera Jones, Jamie Deloach, Reginald Loper and Phil Kieffer – along with 27 others.

On Aug. 2, the commissioners met again and tabled the discussion on the R-6 zoning for their next meeting on Aug. 16.

At the Aug. 16 meeting, the Planning Board recommended approving the second reading of the creation of an R-6 single family residential zoning district in Effingham County.

Chairman Kessler explained that an interested party had asked for more time to review and also asked for additional verbiage.

Zoning Administrator, R.C. Barenchik, explained the ordinance allows for an R-6 zoning in areas that are connected to a state-approved private water or sewer system. A recommendation was made to add 7.5 feet (or 3 feet provided minimum building separation of 15 feet is maintained between structures) and add in the lot and building requirements section that all setbacks shall be shown on the final plat.

Following the recommendation, the commissioners and staff discussed existing county water and sewer lines and distance requirements. Commissioner Kieffer made a motion to approve and was seconded by Commissioner Jones – the motion carried unanimously again.

Of the attending citizens at each meeting, none voiced concern with the idea of R-6 zoning.

“R-6 zoning has been allowed in Effingham County for quite some time but a developer would have had to go through a longer process called a PUD (Planned Unit Development),” Chairman Wendall Kessler said. “(PUD) takes a lot longer on both the developer’s and our staff’s time. This new zoning is meant to streamline that process.”

At least one citizen of Effingham County has voiced their displeasure with the zoning but for the most part, no other issues have been raised.

“This first went through the planning board, whose meetings and agendas are advertised according to requirements by law and by which public comment can be made,” Kessler said. “After that, it came to the commission where the same process of advertising of the meeting and the agenda is made.”

Kessler continued and explained that public comment on the issue was accepted.

“Public comment is again accepted for any agenda item and at the time this first came to the board, no action was taken except to table it to another date.”

Kessler said that there were concerns and questions brought from the public on the issue and that was why it was tabled. Once the issue was discussed again, the issues were heard by the commissioners and some items were changed before the second reading.

“This R-6 designation only means now that our ordinances will allow for it where it did not previously allow before,” Kessler said. “It does not guarantee that a piece of property will be rezoned to this – you still have to go through the rezoning process just as you would have before.”

The commissioners will meet again on Tuesday where the topic will be discussed further.