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Comp plan signals more government control
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An open letter to state and local elected officials, Georgia and Effingham taxpayers, voting citizens, parents and grandparents.

Subject: The Georgia Planning Act of 1989; Georgia/Effingham County comprehensive plan’s purpose and design, government agencies, public’s role in appeals.

Blocking water rights to private property is an example of inverse condemnation. It is an injustice to refuse water rights to property; it’s a denial of one’s constitutional rights. Property owners adjacent to Effingham County cities have to bow to the nearest city to supply water, when and if the city chooses, making water supply a cash cow for the city. Yet these property owners outside city limits have no voice in city government.  

Many of our water woes have been created by the regulations of state agencies accorded them by The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 and House Bill 489. If county commissioners and state agencies are allowed to implement the comprehensive plan, land rights go down the drain with water rights.  

The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 serves as a stepping stone. Governmental agencies develop land use maps and determine land use with the adoption and implementation of the comprehensive plan. A type of inverse condemnation results. The government does not pay for the property and does not own it, yet controls its use and continues to collect taxes.

Private property belongs to the property owner who purchases it and pays its taxes. The right to do so is guaranteed by our Constitution and its amendments.

Therefore, we propose the Georgia/Effingham County Comprehensive Plan as designed, and if implemented, is unconstitutional; dangerous to democracy; government’s balance of power; and government’s limited power. It is a plan of the government (Georgia Planning Act of 1989), by the government (constructed and controlled by state agencies), and for the government (increases its control, size and cost).

Sen. Jack Hill and Reps. Jon Burns, and Buddy Carter, what do you propose we do about the Georgia Planning Act of 1989 and HB 489? We challenge you to work with colleagues to repeal or limit these legislations. Advise and help the Effingham County Commissioners say no to state agency demands, allowing state and local government to operate within Constitutional mandates.

Rep. Buddy Carter writes on balance of power,  “one thing is certain — unless the judicial, executive and especially state departments are held in check the balance of power that our forefathers so creatively envisioned will be grossly out of sync.  And with our state’s citizen legislature being neutralized it will be as if ‘the tail wags the dog.’” (Effingham Herald, Oct. 23, 2007.)  

Rep. Buddy Carter, how do legislators plan to hold state agencies in check after empowering them?

Based on the Georgia Planning Act of 1989, a state agency of appointed officials, the Department of Community Affairs, develops the comprehensive plan’s guidelines and sees that each county complies with its rules and regulations. The comprehensive plan claims to be “a living document;” its teeth is in its implementation. State agencies determine the growth and unlimited power of this document.   

Non-compliance to DCA’s regulations by county commissioners could result in a lack of necessary funds. Is it acceptable to use grant money and funds forcing locally elected representatives to comply to government’s plan using citizens’ tax funds? Another example of the tail wagging the dog, Mr. Carter.

The comprehensive plan increases taxation because it increases government growth. Citizens in Effingham County and Georgia are already groaning over an increased tax load. The cost of government is enormous.

E-mail showing support of appeal or ask questions at with subject: Stop Plan!

Carolyn Collins
Guyton citizen, retired educator and grandmother who believes we’ve already lost too much by remaining silent.
For  more, see Thursday’s Herald.