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County updates ordinance for builders and developers


  In order to make the appeals process clearer to builders and developers desiring to rezone or develop a property, the Henry County Board of Commissioners moved to update the ordinance on the appeals process to provide greater detail and clarity. The action took place at the Board’s regular meeting on Tuesday.

  The updated ordinance makes it clear that the Board of Commissioners shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any approval, denial, written interpretation, or decision made by the Zoning Advisory Board (ZAB) or the Planning & Zoning, Building or Environmental Compliance/Plan Review Departments, based on the interpretation or enforcement of the Unified Land Deveopment Code (ULDC). The ordinance also limits those who can file an appeal on such matters to those who have legal standing in the challenged action.

  Those wishing to appeal a decision must file a letter of intent containing the following information along with the application for appeal:

• Written documentation specifying the alleged errors in the approval, denial, interpretation, or decision of the Zoning Advisory Board or the administrator;

• Citation of the section(s) of the ULDC pertaining to the action of the administrator; and

• A statement of the specific relief requested by the party appealing.

  Such appeals shall be filed with the Planning and Zoning Ser-vices Division Secretary. All appeals will then be scheduled to be heard by the Henry County Board of Commissioners no later than thirty (30) days from the date of filing. 

  A $300 application fee is also required at the time the appeal is filed. This fee, which did not change, is comparable to other metro counties and is required to help cover staff time for review and research regarding the appeal, and for advertising the public hearing on the appeal. However, under the revised ordinance, should the Board of Commissioners overturn the decision of staff or the Zoning Advisory Board, up to 75 percent of the fee would be reimbursable. Applicants would have 30 days from the date of the public hearing to request the refund.

  For those desiring more information about the County’s building codes, a complete copy of the ULDC can be found on the County’s website at



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