Alcoholic Beverage Code, Animal Control and the Animal Shelter along with Zoning Topics at Walker Commission Meeting


The proposed Ordinance to amend Chapter 4 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code for Waller County was approved by Walker County Commissioners during the December 28 commission meeting.

The final public hearing on the proposed amendment was held during the same meeting and no public comments were made. The amendment was passed in a 3 to 1 vote with Commissioner Brian Hart voting against the change while the other commissioners felt the change was in accordance with the county’s Joint Comprehensive Plan for 2022 – 2032 regarding Crossroad Communities.

Article IV.Retail Package Sales of Distilled Spirits; Section 4-201 has been amended by adding subsection (e) as follows:

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4-201(c), distilled spirits by the package shall be allowed on a limited basis in Commercial Neighborhood (CN) zone, in accordance with the following:

  1. A retail establishment is located in a Crossroad Community, as defined and identified in the 2022 – 2032 Walker County Joint Comprehensive Plan;
  2. The granting of a license shall be on a conditional use variance on a case by case basis;
  3. The front door of the retail establishment shall be located within a 500 foot radius as measured from the centerline of the intersection of the two roads which comprise the Crossroad Community;
  4. Each retail establishment in a Crossroad Community must comply with all other provisions of the Walker County Code of Ordinances and applicable laws of the State of Georgia.

The amendment to the Code went into effect upon approval by the commission.

Director of Animal Control Bailey Clements, Director of the Walker County Animal Shelter Emily Sadler, and Angie Teems with Human Resources addressed the Board of Commissioners regarding current needs for Animal Control and the Animal Shelter. The list of needs began with a dedicated phone line in the new Animal Control office location. Currently Animal Control and the Animal Shelter are sharing a line which is answered by shelter employees when they are available. Clements said just in one day they had received seven or eight messages that were yelling or cussing because no one had been available to answer the calls. Clements and Sadler believe the best solution would be a dedicated phone line at the Animal Control Office so that Animal Control can be dispatched from there.

Another need is a department credit card. Currently Sadler has been putting items on her personal card and then having to apply for reimbursement from the county. Supplies and other expenses have been paid this way, but it would be better for the Animal Shelter to have their own card through the county. Certain financial constraints with the current system of payment have led to the shelter not being able to save money like they needed to when orders have not gone through. Just this past weekend an emergency vet bill of $3000 was charged to Sadler’s personal card.

A final concern was transportation for the shelter. Sadler asked if there were any extra vehicles available in the county to be used for the shelter. Right now the shelter staff struggled finding someone available and able to bring the four prisoners who assist at the shelter to the location and back again, finding someone to run errands, or for out of town trips. Shelter employees end up using personal vehicles when possible.

Commissioner Mark Askew asked multiple questions for clarification of the problems presented and agreed that a phone line for Animal Control should be arranged as well as a department credit card. Askew said they would be looking into finding a vehicle for use by the shelter as well.

Commissioners approved multiple resolutions appointing Chip Catlett to the Board of Directors for the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority; Robert Stultz to the Board of Health; Francis Cobb, Randall Pittman, and Eddie Upshaw to the Historic Preservation Commission with John Culpepper serving as Chair; Chad Bomar and Harold Hughes to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission with Hughes serving as Chair; William Ingram to the Walker County Planning Commission with Michael Haney serving ad Chair; and Buddy Chapman and Steve Ledbetter to the Walker County Board of Assessors.

Commissioners also approved the annual Hotel/Motel tax agreement with the Chamber of Commerce; an agreement with Georgia Department of Transportation for CR 219/Red Belt Road bridge project and CR 434/Lee Clarkson Road bridge project; $79,680.25 to Motorola from SPLOST for the purchase of 15 radios for the Sheriff’s Office and $59,639.90 from SPLOST for the purchase of 10 radios for the Fire Department; the purchase of seven Durangoes and one RAM truck for a cost of $340,170 from Jenkins Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Inc. to replace high mileage vehicles with the Sheriff’s Office; the purchase of a road widener from SPLOST to build up shoulders in the county at a cost of $62,800 (contracting the job out would cost $18,000 to $20,000 per mile); a capital purchase in the amount of $318,831 for three F 750 dump trucks to be paid from SPLOST; and rock slide mitigation services at a cost of $136,180 with GeoStabilization for Dougherty Gap Road to be paid with ARPA funds.

Motions were made and approved by the Commission to substitute a conditional use variance to allow low intensity agriculture in place of a zoning change request for R – 1 to R – 2 made by John Stanley for O Pine Valley Drive in Rossville, GA. The zoning will remain R – 1.  A conditional use variance for package liquor sales in a Crossroad Community was also approved in lieu of a zoning change request for CN to C1 made by SAI Krisna, Inc. for 9180 W. Highway 136 in Chickamauga, GA. The zone will remain CN.

By: Summer Kelley


Watch the Commission Meeting here!