Riverkeeper happy with Hancock County zoning changes

Ogeechee River
Ogeechee River(WRDW)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 3:17 PM EST
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SPARTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Ogeechee Riverkeeper is hailing Hancock County commissioners’ decision to tighten rules for special-use permit applicants.

The Riverkeeper and Southern Environmental Law Center worked with residents and municipal officials to draft the amendments for Hancock County.

The updates require permit applicants to provide a community impact assessment that analyzes environmental conditions, water and air pollution, and truck traffic. It also requires information on vulnerable populations, socioeconomic standards, public health data and protection, and other demographic data. The developer must now submit all of this information with their application.

The amendment to the zoning ordinance is the result of March 2021 plan to develop a quarry.

The site was along the banks of the Ogeechee River and adjacent to a residential neighborhood. With the opposition of residents organized by the nonprofit Riverkeeper, commissioners ultimately denied the special-use permit.

“These changes bring added transparency for the public and for county officials when considering a permit application,” said Damon Mullis, executive director of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper. “Both county residents and leaders need to know the true effects these proposals will have on their quality of life.”

Also in the news …

ANNUAL MEETING: Ogeechee Riverkeeper will hold its annual meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 2. It will be held virtually and is open to all. Registration is required. The meeting will begin with organization updates before launching into a panel discussion on plastic use and pollution. or registration links and more details, visit https://www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org/events/meeting-plastic.

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