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Public hearing on parking to be held February 26

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A public hearing on the proposed front-yard parking ordinance will be held on Monday, February 26 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.
    The hearing was set by the council at their meeting Tuesday morning as they are soliciting input on how to best address the issue of people parking in their front yards.
    "We'd like to encourage everyone to attend and give the council your input and guidance," said councilman Joe Brannen.
    The council asked the city's staff to develop an ordinance that would prohibit parking in front yards after a group of citizens brought the issue before the council, showing pictures of yards were several cars were parked haphazardly throughout the yard.
    The residents said the number of cars in the yard looks bad and decreases the property values of the homes around it.
    A proposed ordinance was drafted that would have limited parking to only on paved driveways or on the side or rear of the house and also would have capped the amount of the yard that could be paved. However, that ordinance was tabled before ever coming for a vote to allow the council more time to look into the matter and to solicit comments from the community.
    Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council approved, on first reading an ordinance that made some changes to the city's alcohol laws.
    Among the changes, which still need to be approved a second time, was a provision to extend the boundary line for an on-premisis consumption license slightly to include K-Bob Kelly's and Subway, located on Highway 301 South near Tillman Road.
    The council changed the alcohol ordinance last year to accommodate property surrounding Georgia Southern University, but in that change, those two properties were not included, even though they are further away from the university than some other parcels.
    Also changed, if approved again, would be a provision that gives the fire chief the authority to enforce the maximum occupancy load. It also gives him the authority to close down a business on the spot that does not comply immediately with his order.

    Other action taken by the council Tuesday included:
    ‰ approved a request to rezone property at 204 Best Street to allow a group daycare center;
    ‰ approved a request to rezone property at 605 Brannen Street to Commercial Retail and reduced the side yard setback to 10 feet to allow the construction of an addition;
    ‰ approved the sale of two lots in the Statesboro Pointe Subdivision to Habitat for Humanity of Bulloch County;
    ‰ adopted a resolution to amend the city's travel policy to align with IRS and general service administration guidelines;
    ‰ adopted a resolution to the second budget amendment for the 2007 budget;
    ‰ set Friday, April 13 as the date of the city's annual budget planning retreat;
    ‰ authorized the mayor and city clerk to execute an agreement with Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung, Inc. for the interceptor sewer to serve areas between Cawana Road and Fair Road;
    ‰ approved a bid in the amount of $17,040 to Kustom Signals Inc. for four police vehicle cameras;
    ‰ awarded a bid in the amount of $51,411 to Georgia Fire and Rescue Supply for hydraulic extraction tools for the fire department;
    ‰ authorized the purchase of a used 1999 International truck with a 15-ton terex boom for the water and sewer department for $57,900;
    ‰ approved the renumbering of addresses on North Street and Overland Street to correct duplicate numbers.
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