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Bulloch County Bd. of Commissioners v. Williams

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 10, 2015

BULLOCH COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
v.
WILLIAMS

Reconsideration denied July 8, 2015.

Zoning. Bulloch Superior Court. Before Judge Peed.

Judgment reversed.

Brown Rountree, Laura H. Wheaton, for appellant.

R. H. Reeves III; Edenfield, Cox, Bruce & Classens, Michael J. Classens, for appellee.

Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh & Hodgin, Christopher R. Gohagan, amicus curiae.

BOGGS, Judge. Phipps, C. J., and Doyle, P. J., concur.

OPINION

Page 38

Boggs, Judge.

In this discretionary appeal, the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners (" the Board" ) appeals from a superior court order reversing its denial of a conditional use permit for a personal care home. In related enumerations of error, the Board contends that the trial court erred by failing to properly apply the " any evidence" standard of review to a local government body's zoning decision. For the reasons explained below, we agree and therefore reverse.

When reviewing a local governing body's zoning decision, the superior court applies the any evidence standard of review. In the appellate courts, the standard of review is whether there is any evidence supporting the decision of the local governing body, not whether there is any evidence supporting the decision of the superior court.

(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Jackson County v. Earth Resources, 280 Ga. 389, 391 (627 S.E.2d 569) (2006).

So viewed, the record shows that Kimberly Williams applied for a conditional use permit to operate a personal care home on 7.52 acres on Ponderosa Road in an Agricultural 5 acre (AG-5) zoning district. The Bulloch County Planning and Zoning Department conducted and completed a multi-point written assessment of seven conditional use standards. It recommended approval of the application with the following conditions: (1) approval of the personal care home by the State; (2) the personal care home must begin operation within six months of approval; and (3) the permit would be limited to Kimberly Williams. The Planning and Zoning Commission also recommended approval of the request by a vote of 3-1.

The written assessment included the following information: fire service would be available within 6.8 miles (response time 23 minutes); response time from the County Sheriff's Department is approximately 18 minutes, but depending on patrol patterns the " response time may be greater or lesser" ; " the capacity and general condition of the roads accessing the proposed development is good [and] Ponderosa Road is a county maintained dirt road" ; minimal impact on the existing school; approval " should not create a significant traffic impact" ; street providing access to proposed use is adequate; access into and out of the property is adequate for traffic and pedestrian safety, the anticipated volume of ...


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