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1808 Log Cabin Project: Log Home Diary Entry #9, On the Road Again: Seeking County Approvals

On the Road Again: Seeking County Approvals Log Home Diary Entry # 9 My last entry was less about a bump in the road and more about a pothole knocking the tires clear off my truck. Thankfully, we’ve had some relief on the easement issue, so now the situation is closer to driving with three […]
by Butch Phillips
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On the Road Again: Seeking County Approvals

Log Home Diary Entry # 9

My last entry was less about a bump in the road and more about a pothole knocking the tires clear off my truck. Thankfully, we’ve had some relief on the easement issue, so now the situation is closer to driving with three good tires and a spare. Starting this week, we’ll move forward with the Chatham County minor subdivision and rezoning applications.

This process is not for the light-hearted; if it were easy, then everyone would take on such a task. I paid dearly for permitting in June 2009. (See Entry #2 for a brief recap.) We received approvals for septic permits that included the existing 1908 Justice house, 1808 Timberlake cabin, the proposed Magnolia Barn and Pecan Grove Catering, and the old Johnny house.

At present, we have cut a parcel, otherwise known as a flag lot, out of the existing 10.82 acres on which to place the Timberlake cabin. This creates a minor subdivision, which tacks on additional survey lines within the existing original 10.82 acres. A minor subdivision has a specific set of criteria and has to be approved by the county. Knowing this, I selected the new survey property lines to not interfere with existing approved septic areas.

To obtain a conditional-use permit and a neighborhood business district permit is an intense process. To summarize, we have created a minor subdivision, splitting the total 10 acres into a two-acre lot and an eight-acre lot to allow existing road access to the site, and surveyed and identified all 12 structures on the property and boundary lines. Working with the residential setbacks and attempting to comply with the commercial setbacks, we are re-applying for septic permits that were issued June 2009.

However, because of the new lot and, therefore, the creation a minor subdivision, I have to re-apply and re-pay for the same septic permits that have already been issued. Wow — fees galore. The good news is, once we have all the approved inspections complete, we are done.

To submit applications for rezoning requires the presentation to the appearance commission for Chatham County of a detailed land survey, including a layout of the project with every existing structure and future structure plotted on the map, as well as the landscape design. If it is met with approval, we are granted a motion to file the applications. Once all the fees for such filings are paid, the applications are reviewed by the planning and zoning board, and, if approved, are submitted to grant the request for approved zoning.

The process is lengthy. Next month, we appear before the planning and zoning board for a public hearing. If approved, the following month, we appear before the county commissioners. If approved, we are granted our zoning request. Keep in mind the planning and zoning board, as well as the county commissioners, can table our request or have us correct anything that appears unclear up to three times. That is an additional six-month delay, taking the project into 2011.

My honest thoughts are we will receive our approvals because we are maintaining the rural integrity of Chatham County and preserving our past for our future to see.

Back to 1808 Restoration Diary.

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