Impact Fees, leash laws on Tuesday’s BOC meeting Agenda

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The April Walton County Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at the Historic Walton County Courthouse in Monroe. Two hot-button issues on the agenda include the resumption of impact fees on developers currently scheduled for June 1, 2019, and the Animal Ordinance.

Animal Advocates began petitioning Walton County to make humanitarian changes to the law several years ago and renewed their efforts again in February this year. ETC Georgia and Off the Chain animal advocates have kept the pressure on local governments to promote changes to ordinances that would make it illegal to keep dogs in “chained dogs in horrible conditions.” ETC (End the Cycle) serves “as an advocate and voice for responsible dog ownership and owner accountability.” Its services include building free fences and the distribution of free dog-houses for qualified families. It also provides education for responsible pet ownership and caring and, when available, will provide other resources like pet food, leashes, collars, pet carriers and water/food bowls. 

Monroe amended its animal ordinance to limit unsupervised tethering of pets in 2014 but later amended it to be more in line with Walton County’s ordinance for administrative purposes. There is likely to be a large crowd of animal advocates at Tuesday’s meeting.

Also, the BOC recently announced the resumption of Impact Fees on building permits, causing somewhat of a backlash from some in the community. As it had not been up for discussion at a meeting prior to making the announcement, the issue is up for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.

In making the announcement, the BOC had reported that impact fees were initially instituted following the 2005 increase in people moving to Walton County. The fees, however, were dropped in 2012 due to the downturn in the economy and resultant drop off in development in the county. In the light of the current boom in the economy and the resultant uptick in residential building permits issued, BOC Chairman Kevin Little and the BOC announced that the will be working with Ross+ Associates to update the Impact Fee Program to have it in place by next month for full implementation by June 1. According to the BOC, the fees will be assessed depending on the type of building being permitted, but the impact fee a single-family dwelling is expected to run at $1,224.01 to be collected at the issuance of the building permit. The fee is said to be instituted to “allow for many of the expenses related to new development to be passed on to the builders and developers who are responsible for fueling that growth. It will allow for the costs of services and infrastructure improvements to be more evenly dispursed between current citizens as well as newcomers to the county.

The full agenda for Tuesday’s meeting follows. The public is invited to attend.

1.01 3 Minute Limit

2. Meeting Opening

2.01 Pledge of Allegiance & Invocation

2.02 Call to Order

2.03 Roll Call

3. Adoption of Agenda

3.01 Additions/Deletions

4. Administrative Consent Agenda

4.01 Monthly Financial Matters, Contracts & Approval of Meeting Minutes

5. Resolutions

5.01 Resumption of Collection of Impact Fees

5.02 Requesting Sales Tax Information from the Georgia Department of Revenue

5.03 FY 2019 Budget Amendments

5.04 Project Length Budget – East Spring Street Property Renovations

5.05 Project Length Budget – Fire Apparatus Maintenance Building

6. Ordinances

6.01 Discussion – Amendment to Animal Control Ordinance

7. Proclamations

7.01 Child Abuse Prevention Month

7.02 National Donate Life Month

8. Appointments

8.01 MHDDAD Advisory Council

9. Public Works

9.01 Acceptance of Right of Way – W.H. Malcom Road

10. Announcements

10.01 May 7, 2019 – Regular Monthly Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

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