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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
November 28, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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November 28, 2018

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Page 6C November 28, 2018 Reporter By Richard Dumas Monroe County Commis- sioners denied on Tuesday, Nov. 6 a McDonough de- veloper's request to build an RV (Recreational Vehicle) park at the comer of High Falls and Buck Creek roads. Brian Marshburn applied to re-zone a 15.29-acre tract from commercial to a manufactured home district for the purpose of operating a luxury RV park. In addi- tion, Marshbum also asked for a variance because the county ordinance requires a tract to be at least 25 acres in size in order to.have a campground. Marshburn told com- missioners his park, which would be located about a mile east ofi-75, would cater to travelers heading to and from the northem U.S. states and south Florida. He proposed 69 pull-through spaces with 20 cabins but said he does not intend to build any cabins at this point. David Crawford, who has owned the 15.29-acre tract along with his son for the past 15 years, said he had a similar contract set up with Dean Huckeba to create an RV park there about a decade ago. He said commissioners approved a conditional use for the development at the time but it was never built. He said Marshburn's plan is largely the same as the one Huckeba presented. A number of High Falls residents opposed the pro- posed project. Buck Creek Road resident Irene Muckenfuss said High Falls already has a reputa- tion for crime and said the new park would only add to it. Muckenfuss said High Falls' existing campgrounds are already a problem and she fears it would devalue her property, cause dam- age from water run-off and increase traffic. Buck Creek Road residents Steve and Susan Wade, who own an adjacent RV park, said they live at their park and have made themselves a part of the community. Susan Wade urged commissioners to allow Marshburn, who has also bought the High Falls Hideaway and Camp- ground property, to use that location to prove that he has good intentions and would properly manage his proposed RV park. "We just want him to prove himseltT,' Wade said. Buck Creek Road resi- dent Brenda Lee said High Falls rental areas are full of weekend revelers that keep her from sleeping. Lee urged commissioners: "Come spend the night with me on the weekend, and I'll show you what it's like" Boxankle Road resident Jan Knecht said she fears the proposed park would take away revenue from High Falls State Park's camp- ground and said it could also strain the county's water system. Kimble Oliver who owns nearby High Falls Water Park, told commissioners he fears Marshburn's park will have full-time residents and said many of High Falls' crime and appearance issues could be solved with better county code enforce- ment. Lakeshore Drive AMn Crusan said he's concemed about the environmental impact on High Falls Lake. When allowed to respond to the objectors, Marshbum said he's not marketing his park to the "riffraff" element. He said he went to the High Falls State Park campground on Columbus Day and saw it was fully booked. He said his park would be designed to take on additional travelers that did not have room at the state park. Marshburn said his proposed park would be fully staffed with an on-site manager 24 hours a day, would have an electronic gate, "total" landscaping and a separate septic tank for each parking space. He said he would charge $35 to $40 per night to stay at the park and said residents would not be allowed to stay more than 30 days at a time. After about 40 minutes of discussion, District 3 com- missioner John Ambrose motioned to deny Marsh- bum's re-zoning request. District 4 commissioner George Emami, who said he was concemed about the high density impact of Marshbum's proposal of 69 parking spaces and individual septic tanks on just over 15 acres, seconded Ambrose's motion. Com- missioners then voted 5-0 to deny the re-zoning. The Monroe County Planning & Zoning board previously denied Marsh- bum's request at an Oct. 29 meeting, but commis- sioners had the final say on Nov. 6. By Richard Dumas Monroe County Com- missioners denied on Tuesday, Nov. 6 a request to build a mini storage facil- ity on Hwy. 41 South just rlorth of Sanders Road. 'Pea Ridge Road resident Mike Winget, who owns the 13.93-acre tract at 6923 Iqwy. 41 South, asked com- missioners for a condition- al use variance in com- i mercial to build the storage facility on the tract, which he bought several years ago When it was an abandoned ffailer park. Winget, who said the pro- posed storage facility would month, Winget could have only be built on three acres built the storage facility of the tract, said he would on his commercial tract have a fence all the way without requiring commis- around it, an electronic gate sioners' approval. with a timer, security light- The lone proponent of ing, a retention pond and the project was Winget's a wooden privacy fence son, Old Popes Ferry Road separating his property resident Brandon Winget, from that of his neighbor to who said his father, a dassic the south. Winget said he car collector, intended the has already invested about facility more for personal $225,000 in the property use than for other users and said he will have spent and said he thinks his well over $400,000 by the father will end up losing time the storage facility is money on the investment. completed. A number of nearby Monroe County zoning residents opposed Winget's officer Anita Buice told request. commissioners that until Heritage Drive resident a recent zoning ordinance Garrett Gordon, who lives revision was completed last behind the tract, said the proposed storage facility would harm residential property values, create noise issues and potentially heighten crime in the area. He said a storage facility was not compatible with the surrounding residential areas. Sanders Road resident Dr. Mary Logan told com- missioners she pays over $8,000 annually in county property taxes despite not using any county services. "I'm getting jack from you guys" Logan said sharply. Logan said she's not impressed with the county's zoning policies and said she doesn't think Winget has shown any concern for his neighbors. Logan said many surrounding homes, including hers, are valued at more than $1 million and said those residents wouldn't be the ones using the storage facility. Sanders Road resident Paul Harris told commis- sioners he's a retired sher- iff's deputy and said he's seen first-hand the bug and rodent infestation created by storage units when he had to evict citizens while on the job. Klopfer Road resident Stacey Nestor, an attorney, said she was representing her sister and brother- in-law Shelly and Rich- ard Spivey, who live on Heritage Circle. Nestor said Winget was proposing 20,1300 total square feet of metal buildings (100 10 x 20-foot units). She said a gate won't keep crime out and said the facility would also cause an increase in trucks and moving vans us- ing area roads. Nestor also agreed with Gordon that property values would drop as a result of the proposed facility. "I don't care what any- body says. Nobody wants to buy a house next to a storage unit," Nestor said. "I don't care if it's the Taj Majal of storage units. And they sure don't want to buy a house for a $1 million across the street from it" Heritage Drive resident Don Desroches and Sand- ers Road resident David Rowntree both said they too oppose the proposed storage unit. Lorraine Woods Drive resident Bowden Oakes said he was concerned that if the storage units were a money drain like Brandon Winget suggested, then Michael Winget could sell the property and it might deteriorate and become the neighbors' problem. Oakes suggested Winget find space on his own property to store his belongings. Jerry Lumley, an attorney representing the Glen Mer- ry and North Rivoli Farms homeowners' associations, also opposed the variance request, saying Winget's plan changed since official notice was initially given to neighbors about the pro- posed variance request. Lumley said, "There's nobody in the community who wants this." District 3 commissioner John Ambrose, in whose district the proposed stor- age facility would be built, then addressed Lumley's comment, saying he didn't appreciate the Macon- based attorney telling commissioners how to do Monroe County's business. District 2 commissioner Eddie Rowland said he felt for Winget because the applicant owns a commer- cial tract and has property rights. Rowland said he wasn't sure what to suggest for Winget to do with the property if his storage unit was rejected. - Winget then replied to Logan's comments on how much she pays in taxes by stating he pays $46,000 annually in county prop- erty taxes and owns four commercial buildings on Rivoli Road. Winget said he wouldn't spend so much money on the storage building project if he didn't intend for it to look good and be successful. Winget then said of his neighbors' concerns: "I really don't wanna make people mad at me. I cer- tainly don't wanna drop the value of anything." After about 45 minutes of discussion, District 1 commissioner Larry Evans motioned to deny Winget's variance request, which was seconded by Ambrose. Commissioners then approved by a 4-0 vote to deny Winget's request. District 4 commissioner George Emami abstained. The Monroe County Planning & Zoning board previously denied the request at an Oct. 29 meet- ing, but commissioners had the final say on Nov. 6. -L P The Reporter recognizes its sponsors for its Newspapers in Education program. Thanks to them, hundreds of students throughout Monroe County sch001s get to use the math, reading, civics and science that they're learning and aplJly it to real life current events in their community. To sponsor a classroom, Call Will at (478)994-2358 Central Georgia EMC e Monr~Coun~ Southern P ers Energy" Georgia Power NOTICE OF PROPOSED BUDGET FOR THE CITY OF FORSYTH Notice is hereby given that the proposed budget for the City of Forsyth for the year 2019 will be submitted to the Mayor and Council of the City of Forsyth at the December 3, 2018 City Council meeting at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached, at Council Chambers at Alderman Hall, 5 West Adams Streetl A copy of the proposed budget is on file in the office of the Clerk of the City of Forsyth and may be examined and inspected by the public at such ptace during regular bus ness hours. On December 3, 2018, at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached, the Mayor and Council of the City of Forsyth at Council Chambers at Alderman Hall will conduct a PUBLIC HEARING at which time any persons shing to be heard on the budget may appear. And on the 17th day of December, 2018 at 6:00 PM or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached, the Mayor and Count! of the City of Forsyth at Council Chambers at Alderman Hall will consider the adoption of a resolution enacting the operating budget for the City of Forsyth for the year 2019. This 19t" day of November, 2018 MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FORSYTH ] " . L