Land use plan from hell

The Covington News - - OPINION - Sam Hay III

What is on my mind and the minds of many other New­ton County cit­i­zens is the plot by a small group of people to pull off a new zon­ing plan to se­verely re­strict what you can and can’t do with your own property.

Now that this group’s se­cret plans are out of the bag, they are try­ing des­per­ately to get your com­mis­sion­ers to ‘vote’ a pos­i­tive ac­cep­tance to their plan. A group of land own­ers have banded to­gether to stop this night­mar­ish plot to al­low some ‘pre­ferred’ landown­ers to be able to do what­ever they want while restrict­ing all the rest!

What if I told you that a ma­jor­ity of landown­ers would only be able to build a house on 20 acres of land? And oth­ers would be able to build as many as they want on one acre of land. These plans go by the sporty names of Charette, Over­lay and 20-50 Plan and seem to have been ini­tially be­gun as a way to have a pay­roll for a few people who didn’t seem to have much of a fu­ture any­where else. The leader of this den of wolves is the one and only Randy Vin­son, thought by some to be God’s an­swer for ev­ery­thing and by oth­ers as the worst thing that ever hap­pened to New­ton County. It does seem odd the way he continues to get projects to work on, funded by tax dol­lars, and these projects con­tinue to be dis­as­trous.

Let’s just take one ex­am­ple: The new court an­nex build­ing. Mr. Vin­son was in to­tal con­trol of this project. The budget was blown but more sig­nif­i­cant, it seems he didn’t know about the Ge­or­gia fire reg­u­la­tions. Ex­cept for the fact that we had a U. S. Supreme Court Jus­tice com­ing down to ad­dress the crowd at the grand open­ing, we would have never been able to even use the build­ing. There were so many mis­takes made dur­ing the con­struc­tion that strings got pulled to even be able to open the build­ing for the ded­i­ca­tion. And the John­sons were hired full time to work on a brand new build­ing to fix all the mis­takes that it took them years to get it all sorted out! This was a Randy Vin­son project. He continues to get funds to pro­ceed with new projects such as this zon­ing fi­asco. They have only been work­ing on this project now for about 10 years. Funded by New­ton County, The City of Cov­ing­tion, and The New­ton County Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Author­ity to the tune of $70,000 each, they have found a money train for their lit­tle group. And when this project is done, win, lose or draw, you can be as­sured they will come up with an­other lame-brained, un­nec­es­sary project to be able to get more of your money to make their pay­roll.

Why on earth would we pay rent to “The Cen­ter” when we have large va­cant spa­ces in the new ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing? When you con­nect all the dots on this en­tire episode you come up with a one word de­scrip­tion of what they are do­ing and what is hap­pen­ing to your tax dol­lars: HOG­WASH!

And your New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers and the City of Cov­ing­ton are al­low­ing this to hap­pen! Here are the County Com­mis­sion mem­bers that you should speak to about this trav­esty: Chair­man Keith El­lis, Nancy Schultz, John Dou­glas, J.C. Hen­der­son, Lanier Sims, Le­vie Maddox. I don’t know what is wrong with these people un­less they to­tally do not un­der­stand the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion. If this is the case, they need to get a grip!

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