Columbia County commissioners on Tuesday approved a revised tree ordinance that allows developers to grade sites before selling lots to builders.
Previously, county ordinances prevented developers from clearing and grading the sites. They could only build such infrastructure as roads in potential subdivisions. It was the builders' responsibility to clear and grade the individual lots that they had purchased. The result often was an uneven appearance from one lot to the next.
By grading the sites prior to sale, developers say they can offer a more uniform grading that improves the landscape and stormwater runoff.
The updated ordinance also gives the county additional authority in requiring builders to replant trees and avoid clearing out trees in buffer zones. Developers can clear the sites only if an engineer deems it necessary due to the topography and with permission from Development Services Director Richard Harmon.
Commissioners again discussed next year's proposed budget of about $54.1 million.
County officials have opted to reduce revenue expectations by $500,000 because of a 4.15 percent decrease in general fund revenues compared to last year. Their intent is to provide a financial cushion in case revenues plummet even more. Already, the county has cut the budget by about 5 percent.
Cuts include no new hires, no merit raises, no insurance increases, a 73-percent reduction in Fleet Services purchases, and a 27-percent reduction in other capital requests.
The commission likely will approve the budget at its next meeting on June 1.
Also at the meeting, officials approved a nearly $3.3 million bid to Thomson-based C & H Paving for road resurfacing.
The resurfacing projects, which include portions of Flowing Wells, South Old Belair, Evans-to-Locks, Old Evans and Furys Ferry roads, will be paid for using federal stimulus funding.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.