Spalding County Planning and Development Director Chuck Taylor said he believes the public will turn out in force at 6 p.m. tonight at the Spalding County Courthouse Annex, when the overlay will be discussed at the county zoning meeting. However, he said there are many misconceptions about the proposed ordinance.
He said the county will not condemn roads or force property owners to build roads on their property unless the property is being developed. No houses will be torn down. Zebulon Road will not become a four-lane highway.
He said the ordinance will establish a secondary road network, which will help relieve traffic congestion as the area develops. It will also open up new lands for development. The development that will require road-building may be a long time in coming anyway, due to the economy.
Committee member Bobby Peurifoy said without planning in the area, it will end up like other parts of U.S. Highway 19/41, including the intersection near Ryan’s.
Committee member Michelle Cannon asked if the proposed code would hold up in court. Taylor said zoning attorney Newton Galloway had a major role in crafting the ordinance.
“At no point has he raised any legal concerns,” he said.
Adam Williamson of Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh and Associates spoke about the “rails with trails” plan to build trails alongside the old Roosevelt Railroad that will link Griffin with Sun City Peachtree and potentially Heron Bay. He said there will be a public meeting at Sun City Peachtree on July 29 for the current version of the plan to be shown to the public. The final version of the plan will be shown on Sept. 30.
“We want to keep the rail in place and add a multi-use trail,” he said.
He said residents of Sun City Peachtree have suggested the trail be usable by golf carts, something that will be decided later. As part of the plan, there will be trailheads with restrooms, bicycle racks and parking and historical markers along the trail. He said the trail would not cause an increase in crime. He also said that as part of the program, there would be a need to purchase some property north of Trestle Road.
“What is the possibility of funding these trail projects?” committee member Dick Morrow asked.
Transit Planner Anthony Dukes said the Path Foundation could provide some money. However, whether or not the community is willing to pay for it will be an issue. Even getting outside grants will require “seed money.”
Morrow asked if there will be a cost estimate to see how much “seed money” is required. Dukes said there will be.