County commissioners limited by “zoning”
Johnny Westmoreland tries hard to stay away from the word “zoning.”
For county commissioners in Baldwin County, including Westmoreland, the word “zoning” can be political dynamite, primarily with some voters in rural Baldwin County. Zoning, however, is the reason why the county commission is powerless to stop the construction of Milledgeville-Baldwin County’s seventh Dollar General store, according to Westmoreland.
“We have no zoning. All we have in the county is a land use code. As long as an individual meets all of the setback requirements with (the) Code Enforcement (office), that person can do whatever they want with a property,” said Westmoreland, whose district includes the intersection of Log Cabin and North Jefferson. “In terms of (the Dollar General) project, I’m not for it, and I’m not against it. We, as commissioners, have to support Code Enforcement. In this situation, that’s all that we can do.”
The new Dollar General is slated for the corner of Log Cabin Road and North Jefferson Street. Even though that stretch of North Jefferson Street is a “city road,” the actual property is all located outside of the city limits, exempting it from more stringent zoning rules and requirements. While each private property in the city is zoned either commercial or residential, properties in the county are not. In theory, if someone wanted to open a barber shop or a carwash in the middle of subdivision, they could.