In a reversal of plans, Oconee County Administrator Justin Kirouac tomorrow (Tuesday) night will open up discussion with the Board of Commissioners of a possible revision to the county’s Landscape and Buffers section of its Unified Development Code.
Citizens called for action on the code revision at a Town Hall Meeting last week, but Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said consideration of changes to the Unified Development Code would not take place until after the county completed work on its Comprehensive Plan this spring.
Daniell said discussion of the Landscape and Buffers section of the code would be part of a larger review of the entire code document.
The agenda released for tomorrow night’s meeting doesn’t give any indication of what Kirouac will bring to the Board.
Water Services Director Wayne Haynie will come before the Board with three requests, including to spend an additional $1 million to add a second aeration basin to the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant now being upgraded.
The second basin could be used as a reservoir for reuse water, Haynie has told County Administrator Kirouac in a Jan. 26 memo, but it also could be used as part of a future expansion of the plant from 1.5 million gallons per day to 3 million gallons per day.
Landscape And Buffers
Jon Williams from Williams and Associates, a land planning and engineering firm at 2470 Daniells Bridge Road, asked the Board to make changes in the Landscape and Buffers section of the Unified Development Code at the Jan. 23 Town Hall Meeting held at the Community Center in Veterans Park.
|Daniells At Town Hall Meeting|
Williams said the goal is to create regulations that are “more user friendly and more design oriented.” The new regulations should follow “good landscape architectural practices,” he said.
Williams said his company has been working with Oconee County landscape designer Jane Bath and others to amend the landscape ordinance.
He has given the Board a list containing the signatures of Abe Abouhamdan from ABE consulting, Bob Smith from Smith Planning Group, Ken Beall of Beall and Company, and Stuart Cofer of Cofers Home and Garden, among others, endorsing the change.
According to Williams, the current code has sections that contradict each other. Spacing issues for trees are a problem. The county needs regulations creating larger islands in parking lots and better drainage in those islands, Williams said.
Landscape designer Bath, who lives at 2430 Snows Mill Road in the west of the county, urged the Commission at the Town Hall Meeting to take immediate action on the revisions to the landscape provisions of the Unified Development Code.
In a note to the Commissioners, she argues that the new code allows for better horticultural outcomes than the current document.
Under the current code, she wrote, “Requirements were so restrictive that correct choices of plant materials were not possible.”
Bath said “Oconee County citizens will also appreciate the beauty of different plantings, some blooming.”
Calls Creek Plant
In his memo to Kirouac, Haynie wrote that, “With plant construction in full swing, we have a unique opportunity now to take advantage of the structural concrete construction that would be needed to finish Aeration Basin 2 (AB2) in the future.”
The first Aeration basin is being formed at present, Haynie wrote and “we can gain some economy of scale by forming and pouring AB2 simultaneously.”
Crowder Construction Company of Conyers, contractor for the $13.4 million upgrade of the Calls Creek plant, has developed the design of a second aeration basin so that the structure can be used as a reservoir for a reuse water from the plant, Haynie said.
At present, the county has no reuse customers, but it is contemplating pumping reuse water from the Watkinsville plant to its parks on Hog Mountain Road.
“In the future, when the County contemplates expanding the plant again, AB2 would be called into service as a wastewater treatment unit, increasing the plant capacity from 1.5 to 3 MGD,” Haynie told Kirouac.
Calls Creek Line
Work on the plant upgrade–really a nearly full replace of the existing plant–is to be completed in August of this year, Haynie told Kirouac.
The additional cost of adding the second aeration basin would be $1,030,993, and Haynie is seeking a change order in the original contract to add that amount to the contract.
The county has not made any decision on upgrading the Calls Creek plant, located on the north side of Watkinsville, to 3 million gallons per day.
What to do with the additional treated sewage water from such an upgrade has been a controversy in the county for the last two years.
The latest proposal is to put a sewer line down Simonton Bridge Road, but that plan has not yet been approved by the Board of Commissioners.
Sewer Line Upgrade
Haynie also will ask the Board to change the terms of a $1.9 million contract with Griffin Brothers Inc. of Maysville for an upgrade of the pressured sewer line from Epps Bridge Parkway at Parkway Boulevard to the Calls Creek plant.
The change will move the completion date back two months to July 3 to accommodate disruption in the manufacturing of the PVC pipe due to Hurricane Harvey.
Construction is about to get underway on the 12-inch pressured line that will run under Epps Bridge Parkway at Parkway Boulevard and then follow Tanglebrook Drive to a sewer easement along a creek that links to the roadway through Pinewood Estates mobile home park.
It then will follow Old Epps Bridge Road to the Oconee Connector stub behind Home Depot.
From that point, the line crosses under SR Loop 10, connecting to Daniells Bridge Road just west of Chestnut Hill Road.
The line flows down the west side of Daniells Bridge Road to Hog Mountain Road and then down Government Station Road to Lampkin Branch of Calls Creek, where it will connect to an existing gravity line running to the Calls Creek plant off Durhams Mill Way on the north side of Watkinville.
The new pipe will be put down beside the existing 6-inch forced main pipe following that same route.
Water Service Department Director Haynie also will ask the Board to approve two separate contracts for construction of an elevated storage tank and related system improvements to serve the northwest section of the county, including the new Dove Creek Elementary School under construction on Hog Mountain Road between Osborne Road and Dewey Road near the Barrow County line.
Haynie is recommending awarding a $822,080 contract to Phoenix Fabricators, of Avon, Ind., for construction of the tank and $205,500 to Allsouth Constructors, Covington, for mechanical construction work on the project.
With the commissioning of this new pressure zone created by this project, the county will cease the daily water supply from Barrow County for the northwest area of Oconee County, including the Georgia Club, Haynie told Kirouac in another Jan. 26 memo.
As part of an intergovernmental agreement between the county and the Oconee County School System, the school system donated property on the Dove Creek site for the water storage tank.
Finally a specific landscaping code will be added. The BOC Boys and Jon Williams are in agreement so at long last we move forward in forward thinking policy. What was not pressed was the buffer regulations. Neighborhoods and the overall county would benefit from set buffers and not allow changes from BOC. Oconee has a long way to go to protect its quality of life.
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