little towns as targets


My log in here is several yrs old and I am an incidental Cyburbian, a building inspector who was assigned zoning as "other duties", under contract, of course.

Now semi-retired but still inspecting homes for buyers, I retain a couple of third party agreements with local jurisdictions that see rare activity.

My state has 159 counties (the most, I've heard, of any state. Each county includes a number of municipalities, so you can see that turf here is well divided and vociferously defended, (live free or die kind of stuff, no?).

So I serve as inspector for City of Hull, GA. (Hull is a city in Madison County, Georgia, United States. It is 222 acres in area. The population was 160 at the 2000 census and 198 in 2010.)

I've been notified that an applicant has been issued a permit for a cell tower to be put on a residential lot of 1.22 acres. It is in close proximity to a radio tower with wide-set guys and another cell tower with the deep footing kind of anchors.

Most jurisdictions in the area require a setback equal to or greater than fall zone, but this little town, while having adopted state building codes, has no zoning.

Neither of the previous towers meets setbacks from residential as required by the county that contains the muni.

This county has seen prior bad behavior by predatory business interests. Despite a county wide ban on billboards, in a tiny muni with not much more than a crossroads that was excluded from the ban, an outdoor advertiser erected in a big hurry a really obnoxious, towering billboard over 20 yrs ago that still pollutes the view there.

The month after that billboard erection the town council shut the barn door by adopting the county billboard ban.

A neighboring county that is blessed or cursed, according to opinion, by some interstate highway, a "topless donut shop" opened many years ago that was victorious in every court action because the locals did not prevent the activity.

I'd like to hear if Cyburbians find this kind of ruthless business activity to be everyday, or unusual?


It depends on the situation. Rural Kansas doesn't seem to have this problem, but the state regulates billboards well enough. Get around a bigger city and you start to see it. People want to run "that" business, but it's not allowed or not easy to do in the city so they escape to the county where there are fewer regulations. My county avoided it by being a zoned county, but neighboring counties are not so lucky. The one to the right has an adult store that everyone hates, yet enough people seem to go there to keep it in business. The one to the left has some wonderful trailer parks. The one above has uncontrolled housing which is mostly fed by my county - we have the larger city in the area. The one below is zoned so fewer problems. In general we see a lot of the puppy mills or home businesses that blow up into bigger things, but the opportunistic @ssholes are out there. If they hear an idea or a law change they want to capitalize before it's too late.

Prime example. I'm working on a new indoor shooting range. They're going in the county because the city has no zoning, so prohibits, indoor ranges. City has no problem with it FYI. This guy calls them and asks if they would like to locate in his building in the city. They explain why the timeline wouldn't work for them to get the city to change zoning, etc. He gets all mad then tells them he's going to open his own shooting range with blackjack and hookers (okay I added the last two). The city is now working on a request to allow shooting ranges. Granted the county one will be open long before his, but he just wants to make money on someone else good idea.