The livestock issue in Columbia County is in the hands of the county commission.
Planning commissioners last week unanimously approved a series of ordinance changes related to keeping livestock on residential property. The main change requires landowners to have at least 2 acres if they plan to keep horses or other livestock.
''We're just trying to make (county laws) better,'' said Planning Commission Chairman Steve Brown. ''We're not taking any right away.''
Current owners of livestock would be allowed to keep the animals if their lots are less than 2 acres.
The changes now go to the county commission for final approval on Oct. 16.
Under the changes, any structure on property where livestock is kept must be at least 25 feet from the property line.
The changes do not apply to the county's less intensive residential zones west of Euchee Creek.
''In three-quarters of the county, there would be no regulations,'' said Planning and Zoning Director Jeff Browning.
Some horse owners said the potential problems, such as odors, that can result from keeping livestock in residential areas are not a zoning issue. Instead, the county's nuisance laws should apply.
''I feel like this is the wrong area,'' Kim Sams told planners.
In other business, planning commissioners denied a request from the Lamar Co. to rebuild a billboard at the intersection of Washington Road and Bobby Jones Expressway. The sign was removed during the construction of the Walgreens store.
Because the billboard was grandfathered under current zoning regulations, it cannot be rebuilt. And that leaves Lamar without one of its top-producing billboards.
''We were in a situation where if we would have held out, Walgreens wouldn't have come,'' said Lamar's Jeff White.
Browning said the company's variance request did not meet one of the main requirements.
''There is no hardship here,'' he said. ''The property is being put to use.''
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