Butts County

The Butts County Board of Commissioners on Monday heard a number of zoning cases, voting to allow a greenhouse to operate a retail store on High Falls Road and a truck repair shop to be built near Interstate 75.

But commissioners delayed a decision on a controversial communications tower slated for construction in southeast Butts County.

Southern Linc, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is seeking to build a 350-foot tower off Lamars Mill Road, which is also known as Cork Road.

Southern Linc and the property owner, Terrel L. Savage, were before the Board of Commissioners on Monday to ask for a special-use permit needed to construct a tower of up to 150 feet. The Butts County Board of Zoning Appeals is due on Thursday to hear requests for variances on the allowable height and setback requirements for the tower which, if approved, would allow a height up to 350 feet.

A Southern Linc representative told commissioners if the tower is approved, county officials could attach communications equipment to it at not cost to improve public safety radio service in the area.

Commissioners heard from neighbors in the area opposed to the tower’s location and height.

The board voted to let the variance applications proceed to the Board of Zoning Appeals before being brought back to commissioners for a final decision, and in the interim asked Southern Linc and Savage to evaluate alternative locations on Savage’s property for the tower.

Commissioners also on Monday voted to grant a special-use permit to Mark Cartonio, of Mark’s Lawn and Garden, for a retail shop at his High Falls Road greenhouse.

The Board of Commissioners only minutes before the vote had decided to amend the county’s development ordinances to allow such uses in agricultural-residential zoning areas, where Cartonio’s property is located.

Cartonio simultaneously had a pending rezoning request that would have changed his property’s classification to commercial, a backup plan should the special-use permit be denied.

Butts County Commissioner Joe Brown abstained from deliberating and voting on Cartonio’s request, but advocated on his behalf during a public hearing, noting nearby residents supported Mark’s Lawn and Garden but not a commercial zoning for the property.

Commissioners approved the special-use permit 4-0 with conditions, which will regulate hours of operation and revoke the permit should the property change ownership. Cartonio asked the permit be allowed to change hands with the property should he sell the business, but the request was not honored.

A travel center under construction near the I-75 interchange at Ga. Highway 16 will have a nearby truck repair shop following rezoning and special-use permit approval by the Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Russ Crumbley abstained from the vote due to a family relation with Bill Jones, who was named as the land owner in zoning application documents and whose company is constructing the travel center.

Managing Editor

Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.

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