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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Milton restricts landscaping businesses.

New law affects size, uses.

by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers


MILTON, Ga. - Landscaping companies may soon find themselves under new restrictions after the Milton City Council passed a revised definition May 16 making the law more stringent.

The intent of the new ordinance was to restrict landscaping businesses, plant nurseries or garden centers that are located on land zoned as AG-1 in an effort to keep them to small and attractive uses that may abut residential areas. What the city and council did not wish to see is for a large-scale business to locate in the same property, affecting neighbors.

The new ordinance restricts how much of any material can be located on a property, particularly dangerous materials such as fertilizer and gasoline.

Only two vehicles are allowed on the site, and they must be screened from nearby properties .

The new regulations apply just to landscaping businesses situated on AG-1 zoned land.

Council member Julie Zahner Bailey voiced concern that the new law did not go far enough in restricting potential uses, especially regarding the type of commercial vehicles that will be allowed.

"I think this starts to move us toward more commercial use," said Zahner Bailey. "When it's too broadly defined, it's impossible to enforce. The commercial vehicles definition is not addressed, and I think the intensity of use is an unintended consequence."
"This isn't meant to be an end-all," countered Council member Karen Thurman. "It's meant to be a starting point. The council can add further restrictions.""I don't see how it's opening up anything at this point," said Council member Alan Tart.

There were no restrictions before the ordinance was passed.

The council voted 5-1 in favor of the new definition, with Zahner Bailey the only dissenting vote. Council member Burt Hewitt was absent from the meeting.

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