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City to consider parking, alcohol ordinance changes
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            The Statesboro City Council meets today at 6 p.m. to discuss two changes to local ordinances.

            The new front yard parking ordinance will get a second reading. If approved, residents in single family homes or duplexes will not be able to park between their house and the street, unless the area is paved.

            This would apply to rental properties as well as owner-occupied homes and includes cars, as well as motorcycles, trailers, RVs, boat or similar items.

            Residents would be able to park on to the side or rear of the house, if it does not face a city street. Regardless, vehicles must be parked in an orderly fashion, according to the ordinance.

            Another ordinance on second reading relates to changes in the alcohol ordinance. These changes will affect not only the operation of local establishments that serve alcohol but also the Alcohol Control Board.

            The new ordinance will essentially strip the control board of its ability to hear complaints regarding violations of the ordinance. If passed, the board would be limited to reviewing and granting applications for licenses for the sale of liquor.

            In addition, the new ordinance would change the penalties for violations of the alcohol policy. A first violation of the ordinance would result in a three-day suspension of the liquor license. Second, third and fourth violations will result in 10, 30 and 90 day suspensions, respectively. Any more than four violations will result in the revocation of the license.

            Another change would lengthen the 24-month period in which these violations may take place, and stretch it to 36 months. In other words, if any establishment violates the alcohol policy five times in a 36-month period, they would be subject to revocation of license.

            Other business items include setting a public hearing date to discuss the millage rate for the 2007 tax year. The recommendation to the council is that they rollback the millage rate to 6.358 mills, from the 2006 rate of 6.921 mills. The rollback is to account for the recent increase in property tax values and to be in compliance with the Georgia Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

             There are two requests, involving preliminary plats, that are requesting variances for minimum lot widths for a limited number of lots.

            Northbridge is a planned 140-lot subdivision, located on the south side of Highway 301 North,  northeast of the Veterans Memorial Parkway intersection. Hartford is a planned for 150-lot subdivision located on Packinghouse Road, just south of Acorn Lane. Both subdivisions have been zoned R-10 at recent council meetings.

            The city is also planning a public hearing for September 5th to discuss the millage rate for 2007 calendar year.

            Other agenda items include renewing an engineering agreement related to post-closure operations at the Lakeview Landfill, adding new positions to the city staff and installation of broadband services for the city.

            The Council meets today at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the second floor of city hall.

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