The Bulloch County Board of Commissioners can expect to have a packed house Tuesday night as they hear arguments on whether or not a zoning variance should be granted for 4,682 acres of agriculture land for a light industrial park.

The request, which was heard by the Bulloch Planning and Zoning Board twice, received a denial both times, but Commissioners have the ultimate say-so in the matter. Dan Bradley Jr, who owns the property in his LLC ‘Georgia 16 LLC’, is represented in the matter by Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh & Hodgin, LLC in Statesboro.

Attorney Wes Taulbee countered arguments during an nearly three hour Planning Commission meeting in September contending that the zoning condition will run with the land, not the landowner, and that allows a level of protection for the surrounding landowners. Taulbee still contends the land is perfect for industrial growth plans the county has proposed because the land is a single landowner, doesn’t require eminent domain, doesn’t require the investment of tax dollars, and is far from homes of landowners. He also said the property has close proximity to rail and of course, the Savannah port.

Opponents continue to present every alternative, ranging from offering to purchase the land from Bradley themselves to raising concerns about dry wells, runoff water, and wetland and wildlife endangerment. Landowners contend that the county development report concluded many factors to still be “undetermined.”

The citizen opposition has continued to gain momentum as activists have passed out flyers in the community and purchased billboard space around the county. In addition to the concern over the development of the land, opponents say they don’t appreciate the outside political influence that has dominated some of the conversation, from PR firms to state representatives outside the district to Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle who sent a letter of support to the P&Z Board.

Locally, none of the Commissioners have voiced an opinion and State Representative Jan Tankersley said she will not be taking a position on the matter. Worth noting, though, is that Commissioners Ethridge and Nevil are both leaving their posts as of December 31.

Mr. Bradley was not present at the Planning Commission meeting. It is not known as to whether or not he will attend the Commissioners meeting.

The meeting is set for Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 5:30 P.M. at the County Annex.

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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

1 COMMENT

  1. Jessica, thanks for the coverage of this critical issue. If you would like to understand how blatantly biased this rezoning application has been up,to now, simply take fifteen minutes to read the Bulloch County Departmental Review report for this rezoning application. The report is wrought with errors, omissions, contradictions, speculation, foolish hypothesis and missing, readily available facts. This entire application process has been a travesty against the local residents of Bulloch Bay and all the citizens of the county in general. The Planning and Zoning committee made the correct decision both times when they denied the request for the simple reason that the applicant fails to provide as required by ordinance “specific details” as to the planned use of the land. The county’s Land Use Plan clearly defines this area as unincorporated green, rural space. We already have unoccupied industrial sites in the county and this location is not suitable for building anything let alone a 7.3 square mile industrial mega-site. The soil maps clearly define the area as on that will not support septic or construction. Additionally, the Blackcreek water-shed and recharge areas are directly within this site. There are also endangered Gopher tortoises and Eastern Indigo snakes within this site. Between the wetlands and the flood plains about 80% of this tract is unusable. A major underground water route runs through this tract as well making it extremely vulnerable to transmitting pollutants and toxins. Needless to say, to do anything on this site in the form of industry will take a healthy investment on someone’s part and its apparent that the current owner expects the future tenants but more so Bulloch county tax-payers to bare the brunt of the develop cost burden. Whether this happens in the next five or fifty years, it’s a disaster in the making for Bulloch county and the residents.

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