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The Grady County Commission has issued a number of variances to its land use regulations in the past, but on Tuesday the county attorney said that it would be difficult for him to “imagine a scenario when a variance would meet every single one of the requirements” in the existing ordinance and could be granted.
County officials had asked Ridley to draft an amendment to the ordinance that would make it easier for variances to be sought and for the county to approve.
On Tuesday morning, the county attorney presented his proposed changes, which he said would give the board more flexibility in approving variance requests.
Most recently, variances have been requested by the owner of a local motocross track facility in order to host special events on the weekend, which would require a variance from the hours of operation limitations in the existing ordinance.
Ridley said it would also be up to the county if the board’s intent was to relieve the motocross track operators from the required sound limits during these special events.
Code enforcement officer Brian Harrison said the county has not written a citation for a violation of the noise limits included in the land use ordinance in several years and complaints now are rare.
Grady County administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, reminded commissioners that any unexpected or unforeseen activities that are not regulated in the land use regulations cannot be policed.
Commissioner June Knight questioned an event such as an outdoor concert. Harrison said that such an event is not in the specific land uses and is not regulated so the county could not control the hours such an event could take place.
Johnson said it is the “widgets we don’t know about” that can be a problem.
Chairman Phillip Drew suggested the board study the proposed amended ordinance and allow commissioners Ray Prince and LaFaye Copeland, who were absent Tuesday, time to study the draft and ask questions before the county puts the amended ordinance on the table for a 30-day review.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, administrator Johnson offered “kudos” to the Grady County Sheriff’s Office and Capt. Daniel Singletary in particular for identifying ways the sheriff’s office could better manage its expenditures in the future.
“The Sheriff’s Office has made a policy change and they did it on their own. They saw a problem where there was not sufficient oversight over purchases and they have put in a policy to better manage those purchases. Not to say anything improper was going on, they just are doing things differently now and sometimes we don’t give credit where credit is due. I thank them for it,” Johnson said.