A consultant released its report on deficiencies in the Glynn County Zoning Ordinance last week and is seeking input from the public on how to improve it.
The report, produced by TSW Design, can be found by visiting the county’s website at glynncounty.org/zoningupdate and clicking the “diagnostic report” link.
It poses policy questions for the general public and technical questions for Glynn County commissioners and county staff members.
“Those policy questions are really what we’re looking at,” said Pamela Thompson, community development director for the county. “The back end is those technical questions, really just comments or questions about conflicting or confusing parts of the ordinance.”
Members of the public certainly have been given much to comment on, with five of the report’s 20 pages devoted to policy questions.
“Once answers to these questions have been explored, the consultant team will draft potential solutions for the public and county staff and officials to review,” the report states.
Topics range from questions about building requirements and design standards to public notices, zoning variances, affordable housing incentives, historical homes, light pollution and coastal construction regulations.
“The density question seems like it will be the biggest, but we’d really like input on any and all of that. If there is any input on that, we ask them to bring that to us,” Thompson said.
On the technical side, the report called for several changes, including bringing the zoning ordinance in line with the latest state or federal standards, better organization of regulations and requirements, using simpler or more accurate terminology, using consistent terminology across all ordinance sections, clarification of seemingly-contradictory regulations and a reduction in “legalese.”
Instead of simply listing information in the form of numbers, the report suggests using tables and graphics to convey information simply and clearly.
It also recommends a delineation between development code and zoning regulations and the creation of a separate “general provisions” section for regulations that apply in all cases.
The general public will have three chances to give input directly to county staff and the consultants.
The county will hold the first of three open houses at First Friday on Oct. 4 from 5-8 p.m. in the Gould Building at 1608 Newcastle St. in downtown Brunswick.
Another two open houses are scheduled for Oct. 5, the first from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Coast Fest in Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Brunswick and the second from 2-6 p.m. in room 108 of the Glynn County Casino, 550 Beachview Drive on St. Simons Island.
The open house in the Casino will likely be the one to go to for more in-depth information, Thompson said.
Anyone who can’t make it to one of those open houses can send their thoughts to email@example.com.
“We just wanted to put all those policy questions out there and give everyone an opportunity to give feedback,” Thompson said.
For anyone interested in simply hearing about the report, the Islands and Mainland planning commissions will hold a joint meeting to discuss its contents on Sept. 24 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in St. William Catholic Church, 2300 Frederica Road on St. Simons Island.