Commission to consider zoning moratorium

By Justin Boron

Zoning applications could come to a halt soon in Clayton County.

Including its upcoming Thursday zoning meeting, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners will have heard 109 requests since the beginning of the year. It is set to consider a moratorium on them at today's commission meeting.

The board imposed a six-month moratorium in February 2004 to allow for revisions to the county's comprehensive plan.

County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said the currently proposed moratorium would be to redefine some of the county codes.

But he is still unsure about implementing one.

“My primary concern now is the commercial side,” he said, explaining he didn't want to stunt business and job growth with the moratorium.

Bell said he planned to look at the possibility of limiting the stay to residential development.

Commissioner Charley Griswell said he voted for the last moratorium but thought it was ineffective.

He said he is willing to vote for this one but has concerns about how ordinances would be changed. Instead of contracting out the consultants unfamiliar with the county's development needs, he said he would rather the commissioners work in conjunction with the county's planning and zoning department to retool the zoning codes.

“I don't think we need any consultants. I think the commissioners know and realize what needs to be done,” he said.

Commissioner Wole Ralph said he favors the moratorium on the requests. He said he would like to see the break used to retool the county's zoning codes to better reflect the direction the community has indicated it wants to grow.

Regardless of whether the moratorium is imposed, applications slated for Thursday's zoning hearing will still be heard.