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Have zoning issues stifled growth in Georgia residential areas?

Before the housing market crashed, numerous developers throughout Georgia bought up large tracts of land on which to build houses. Now, in the aftermath of recession, many of those acres remain undeveloped because the housing projects could not be finished, which leaves the homeowners living in those developments with the entire tax burden for the area. One Georgia county is considering tackling the zoning issues that created the situation.

The zoning law in question identified large tracts of land as residential without consideration for commercial development in the area. Had the housing market not crashed, the land may have been filled with numerous homes, but it is not. Now, the Georgia county is looking to change the zoning laws in order to rectify the problem.

Allowing for commercial development on the land would relieve part of the tax burden on homeowners and probably help to grow and revitalize the area. Paulding County falls way below the average for the state's counties when it comes to industrial and commercial interests in the area -- partly due to this zoning issue. The current situation has kept residential property values low, along with property tax collections for the county.

This is just one Georgia county that sorely needs commercial development in order to grow and keep current residents happy. Commercial and industrial developers should not let perceived zoning issues keep them from exploring the possibility of a building site. It may be possible to change the zoning to accommodate these types of development. Perhaps, the local government in the area in which you want to build simply has not taken the time to properly evaluate whether the current zoning laws are actually working.

Source: mdjonline.com, "Paulding board eyes zoning changes sought to encourage commercial development", Tom Spigolon, Nov. 17, 2017

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