Jefferson County Commission

Three North Jefferson Zoning Proposals Win County Commission Approval

Joe Knight at 2.6.2020 Jefferson County Commission meeting. (Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

Three zoning matters approved today by the Jefferson County Commission provide evidence that growth is coming to the northern part of the county.
Commissioners approved one zoning case in Morris and two in Mount Olive. The property at 950 Kimberly Cut-Off Road in Morris set the stage for a two-lot residential subdivision, changing the property from A-1 agricultural to R-1 single family.

One case heard today makes way for a 63-lot subdivision at 4901 and 4851 Newfound Road in Mount Olive, rezoning from I-3 industrial and A-1 agricultural to R-7 planned unit development. The other proposes 204 lots at Brookside Coalburg Road and 3885 Hodges Cemetery Road in Mount Olive, shifting the site from I-3 surface mining and I-3 industrial to R-7 planned unit development.

Each matter passed unanimously with Commissioner Lashunda Scales absent.

“All of them are up I-65 in the northern area, a little west of I-65 and north of Brookside, west of Gardendale and south of Mount Olive,” Commissioner Joe Knight said. “There seems to be an interest of developers up there. Our issues are: Do we have the road capacity? And we’d like to get them on the (county) sewer when they come in and develop that and it looks like we’re going to be able to do that.”

Knight expressed concern about on-site, private sewer operations that have been installed in some other areas of the county.

“What happens down the road when the developer’s long gone and (sewer repairs are) put on the neighborhood associations and something goes awry wit that sewer?” he asked. “I think it’s very simple to do a little more up front (and) get on the county sewer system. I think that’s the best way to go about it.

“These private, onsite sewer systems, I don’t know much about them,” Knight continued. “If somebody wants a septic tank, that’s a different issue. But when you put 200-something houses on a private sewer, you’re going to have the issue of who maintains it. Does that fall back on the county some sort of way?”

Carter’s Pastor Offers Prayer, Talks Prison Reform

Pastor Tony Lowden offers prayer at 2.6.2020 Jefferson County Commission meeting. (Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

Thursday’s meeting began with prayer by Pastor Tony Lowden of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. Lowden joked that Jefferson County stole Monique Grier, who came from Georgia to be director of Jefferson County’s G. Ross Bell Youth Detention Center.

“When Governor Nathan Deal decided we had to do prison reform in our state and not allow our state prison population to overrun our educational budget, we had to look at ways of doing things different,” he said. “He brought myself onboard and I recruited Monique Grier and we took Georgia from being dead last to being No. 1 in the nation around prison reform.”

Georgia reforms include putting charter schools into prisons to allow young men and women to get their high school diplomas.

Among Lowden’s parishioners is former President Jimmy Carter, who keeps the pastor on his toes.

“It makes you work because he’s a student of the Bible,” he said. “He reads the Bible religiously … and he’s always trying to find better ways to teach. You as the pastor have to make sure you’re biblically sound. If not, he’s going to challenge you.”

Joe Knight talks about response to shooting death of Kimberly police officer.