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County work session packed with citizens concerned about Hog Hammock proposed Zoning changes

County’s work session crowded

as Hog Hammock Zoning

changes are considered

At least 150 people jammed into the McIntosh County Courtroom on Monday, Sept. 11, for the McIntosh County Commission work session. The crowds from Sapelo, the mainland and out-of-town media were there concerning an amendment to the zoning ordinances for Hog Hammock. The public hearing before the McIntosh Planning and Zoning Commission was held on Sept. 7. This meeting did not include a public hearing for anyone to speak, but the commissioners. (See story beginning on Page 1)

At the table were Chairman David Stevens, Vice Chair Kate Karwacki, Roger Lotson, William Harrell and Davis Poole.

Commissioner Lotson, who represents Hog Hammock, asked the Commission to consider postponing a decision on the amendment at the Tuesday, Sept. 12, regular meeting, to have time to consider additional recommendations before a decision is made.

He said there are a lot questions about the amendment and he wanted to be sure the decisions are understood and are correct. He said by making the decision on Tuesday would give “a black eye to McIntosh County and people are chomping at the bit to sue the county.

He said there are questions he is unable to answer for the people, such as with the increase in square footage can there be enough fire protection; can the water system accommodate the increase in population; is the wildlife safe.

“We need to make sure we have all the answers and we need to be allow time to considered,” Lotson said.

Stevens listed some changes he would like to be considered in the amendment including a maximum of 4,356 square feet to be impervious, and a maximum height being lowered from 45 feet to 37 feet. The enclosed structure for a single family dwelling is proposed to be no more than 3,000 square feet.

Included in permitted use areĀ  green house, horticulture nursery and floriculture production; cattle ranching and farming; hog and pig farming; poultry and egg production; sheep and goat farming; historic site; and a special use permit for a convenience store.

Lotson said the big question is why should the amendment allow an increase of the square footage of 1,400, since it was established in 1995, saying the perception is that the county could collect more taxes.

Stevens said that the county has failed enforcing the 1,400 square feet heated and cooled area, and people said there do not enough room for family members to visit. A 3,000 square foot can have three bedrooms with three or two baths.

Lotson said that it was estimated to build a 3,000 square foot house in Hog Hammock, it would cost about $1 million, including buying the property, “to allow for a handful of rich folks.”

“There is no place for the descendants to go. The increased tax is a burden for poor folk. We love our culture and we want to keep our culture,” Lotson said, and by allow this change, it will be a step toward the demise and culture of Hog Hammock.

“Let us not be the board that drives the nail. Is it worth to risk what we have? Sapelo is a jewel. I ask you to consider voting no. A yes–Sapelo will cease to exist. A 3,000 square foot house will be the beginning of the end of Sapelo.”

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