Building Moratorium Vote Delayed

A controversial decision regarding new development in southeast Chatham County will be given more time for discussion. The county commission had proposed a moratorium be imposed while finishing touches are put on a new land use plan, but for right now building can continue. They decided to have a first and second reading on the issue, which means it will be voted on during the first meeting of November.

The county commission meeting was packed with homebuilders and residents of southeast Chatham County, all waiting to discuss one thing: the possibility of a building moratorium, which would put a stop to new development in that part of the county for ninety days while a land use plan is developed.

"What we're trying to do is go back to the original vision of Oglethorpe, where you have planned communities," said Jeff Rayno of District 1, "and carrying that to the future is good, I think that's what people in my district have asked for."

But a moratorium is the last thing many homebuilders want, and it looks like their wish has been granted temporarily. The commission will not vote on the issue of a moratorium until November 8, and even then the moratorium may not go into effect.

"I would suggest that probably we will not enact the moratorium at the second reading, because I feel like the land use plan will be far enough along that we don't need to do that," said councilman Frank Murray.

But if a new development has to stop, it will not affect single-family developments and it will have a 90-day time limit. The metropolitan planning commission will be holding public hearings to get input on the land use plan over the next week, and again it will not be voted on until November, and that's if a land use plan is not approved by then.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro