Codes put in place years ago are now being re-evaluated.
Grovetown’s Form Based Code was implemented in 2014 to accommodate the growth of the town, but it’s failing to accommodate the people.
The code was meant for downtown growth.
At Grovetown’s City Hall, Director of Planning and Development, Scott Sterling, says, “we’ll bring new buildings in. They will be moved up closer to the street. Commercial areas will have parking in the rear.”
The list for re-development goes on.
Chair of Form Based Code Committee, Allen Transou, says, “the intent was great, but I don’t think they really took a long look at how it would impact the people living on Robinson Ave.”
Buildings that stood before the code was granfathered in.
If a property owner fixes 70% of their assessed property value, the code requires more changes, but mobile homes are not included in the code at all.
“The city is not actively trying to push anybody out,” says Sterling.
Naturally, some homeowners and businesses will be driven out if they can’t keep up before re-development.
“We’re in intent to draw businesses into Grovetown, but we also don’t want to, now that you got your business here, we don’t want buildings we put in places to no longer conform to what we’re looking for then we force them out,” says Transou.
Members of the committee believe it’s a homeowners civil liberty to maintain a home they own for as long as they own it.
However, growth is inevitable, so the city is finding ways to please the people and stay in line with the city’s future.
“We’re going to get with our legal attorney to discuss some of the issues that were brought up at the meeting,” says Sterling.
Transou says, “I’m going to reach out to the mayor, let the mayor know, we need to go over the ordinances and we need to look at the Form Based Code.”
The mayor is hoping to have a decision by September, but the city is open for extension if needed.
There will be monthly meetings until a decision is made. There is no word on when the next meeting will be.