How Walker Works – Zoning

Walker County first adopted land development regulations in the early 1980’s to establish standards and procedures for development and to foster safe and orderly growth in the county.  The planning office handle any rezones, variances, subdivision plats and building permits.

Every parcel of land in Walker County has been given a zoning designation, classifying how the property can be used. There are ten different types of zones in Walker County.  “R1 is your most restricted residential zoning. No businesses, no mobile homes are allowed and it’s only single family. No multi-family allowed,” said Kristy Parker, Planner.

R1, R2, R3 and RA cover residential.  There is also A1 for agriculture, C1 for commercial, CN for commercial neighborhood like a hair salon or convenience store, I1 for industrial, PUD for planned unit developments such as Fieldstone Farms, and CBOD or the Chickamauga Battlefield Overlay District.

Property can be rezoned by filing an application at the Planning Office, receiving approval from the Planning Commission and approval from the County Commissioner.

How Walker Works – Building Permits

The Walker County Planning Office serves as the county’s permitting office, issuing permits for building construction, electrical service repair and installation, mobile homes, modular homes, accessory buildings and land disturbance activity.

“Any structural change or any addition, you have to get a permit,” said planning staff member, Kristy Parker.

Any structure that is 10×10 or larger requires a permit, including pre-built storage sheds. New construction will also undergo four mandatory inspections to insure life safety and design standards.  “A footing foundation, a rough-in inspection, a final electrical and a final walk-through,” added Parker.

Projects like painting, remodeling a bathroom or adding a pool or fence to your property to not require a permit. For additional information about the permitting process, contact our staff at (706) 638-4048.

Citizen Service Request (iWorQ) Now Available on Desktop

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Government has expanded the options available for citizens to report an issue with codes, roads, animals and other matters.

Last year, we launched the iWorQ Service Request mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.  Now, all of the same features are available on a desktop for residents who prefer a computer experience.

Simply click here to have the Citizen Service Request form open in a new tab or visit the “Residents” section of the Walker County Government website menu for quick access.

Citizens who currently use the app can use the same login information to access the desktop version.  New users will need to create an account before they can file a service request

Walker County Receives State Grant to Target Litter and Enhance Community Pride

LaFayette, GA – A state grant just awarded to Walker County will save taxpayers thousands of dollars and keep a valuable community service in operation.

The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources approved a “Right of Way Litter Detail” grant for Walker County. Grant funds will offset some of the cost of operating Walker County’s Litter Detail Program (LDP), which aims to improve the county’s appearance and promote civic pride.

Walker County will be reimbursed for qualified expenses ranging from protective equipment, such as gloves and boots, to fuel and maintenance for the LDP’s transport vehicle.

“This is a great thing for our community,” said Commissioner Shannon Whitfield. “This grant validates the work being done to beautify our county and supports our efforts to eliminate potential eyesores. With a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts coming here for Walker Rocks activities, first impressions are key.”

Whitfield added, “I appreciate the state’s investment in this initiative and the contributions of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and their trustees to make this program a success.”

The LDP, which consists of one county employee and several trustees, removed 123,020 pounds of litter from public right of ways in 2017.

Walker County Sets Second Public Input Session on Animal Ordinance Update

LaFayette, GA – Walker County residents will have another opportunity to offer input on improvements they would like made to the county’s Animal Control ordinance.  A second public input session will be held on Tuesday, May 1st at 6 p.m. at the Walker County Civic Center in Rock Spring.

About 80 people attended the county’s first public input session in January, before work began to update the ordinance that addresses the welfare of dogs and cats in our community.  Suggestions from the first meeting included making owners responsible for not securing their dogs, limiting the number of animals allowed in residential areas and changing the rabies vaccination rule to recognize the three-year shot.

Walker County leaders reviewed suggestions from the meeting, feedback submitted online and best practices in other communities to draft a comprehensive Animal Control ordinance proposal.  While the draft continues to be reviewed internally, it will be released publicly on the county’s website by April 23rd.

Following the May 1st public input session, formal public hearings will take place on May 10th and May 24th at 6 p.m. prior to the Commissioner’s regular scheduled meetings.

With Growth In Mind, Whitfield Announce Staffing Changes for Walker County Government

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield is excited to announce two new members to his administration, as the county pivots from debt management as a primary focus to laying the foundation for sustainable growth.  Robert Wardlaw has been named Economic and Community Development Director and Matt Williamson has been named Legal and Policy Director for Walker County Government.

Wardlaw, a former Coca-Cola executive, built a successful business career founded on strong relationships, ethical behavior and a commitment to others.  In recent years, as a member of the Walker County Development Authority, Wardlaw gained expertise in economic development, site selection, state and federal tax incentives and helping businesses with development plans.

“We have the potential to close a number of active business deals that could lead to the creation of a significant number of jobs in Walker County,” said Commissioner Whitfield. “Wardlaw’s knowledge and proven track record in the business world gives us a competitive edge over other communities to turn these and other opportunities into winning outcomes for Walker County.”

In addition to recruiting new business and servicing existing industry, Wardlaw will work to anticipate and address current and future infrastructure needs to facilitate a thriving community.

Williamson, who served four years as an associate attorney at the highly respected law firm of Womack, Gottlieb & Rodham, will be tasked with helping Walker County keep pace with the needs of its growing citizenry.  Along with updating the county’s codes and policies, he’ll handle day to day legal issues that arise.  Williamson’s first assignment will be to oversee the update to the county’s antiquated Animal Control ordinance.

“I look forward to helping make ordinances clear and concise, reviewing and revising our contract management system, keeping the government in compliance with all federal and state laws and helping the Commissioner carry out his vision of making Walker County a better place for all of us,” said Williamson.

The new additions come at no incremental cost to Walker County. Wardlaw’s compensation will be in line with the county’s previous Economic Development Director.  Williamson, who will be restricted from receiving incentives for working on any future bond issues, will make less than what the county spent in hourly attorney’s fees last year.

Walker County Seeks Public Input on Animal Ordinances

2 Dogs at the Animal Shelter

LaFayette, GA – Walker County plans to update its ordinances dealing with domestic animals in 2018.  Before the work begins, we want to hear from you.

A public input session will be held to seek suggestions on whether new regulations should be considered, as well as review existing county ordinances and state laws addressing the welfare of dogs and cats in our community.

The public input session will be held on Tuesday, January 30th at 6:00 p.m. at the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library, 305 S Duke Street in LaFayette.

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Codes Enforcement Moves Into Second Zone

Codes Enforcement Officers are now making inspections in a new zone. They will be checking for violations from McFarland Avenue to the Catoosa County line, between Highway 2 North and the Tennessee state line. This area excludes the City of Rossville.

Codes Enforcement Officers will be in uniform and in marked vehicles.

Also, with Codes Enforcement now operating out of the Local Government Services building in Rock Spring, their number has changed. Please use 706-638-4048 or the iWorQ service request app for Apple & Android devices if you need to report an issue.

Walker County Launches New Service Request App for Residents

Rock Spring, GA – Imagine being able to report an issue with codes, roads or animals using a smartphone app. That convenience is now a reality for Walker County residents and business owners.

Commissioner Shannon Whitfield unveiled the iWorQ Service Request mobile app during his State of the County address Tuesday at the Walker County Civic Center.

After downloading the app, users need to enter Walker County’s Agency Code, Wal02, to request service. Once entered, you can create an account to track the progress of your issue or continue as a guest.

Along with codes, roads and animals, users can also ask general questions, inquire about renting a county facility and alert the county of concerns with permitting and inspections, drainage and the landfill.

A key feature of the app gives users the ability to take a picture of their problem to send to Walker County and/or upload a file.

The iWorQ Service Request app is now available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play Store for Android devices.

Walker County to Target Codes Enforcement in Zones

Backyard rubbish

Rossville, GA – Walker County Codes Enforcement Officers will begin a targeted campaign this month to address out of compliance properties and make the public more aware of several commonly violated codes.

Over the first three months of 2017, Codes Enforcement Officers have investigated 114 cases, an increase of 128% over the same period last year. 79% of these cases deal with junk, junk cars, household garbage and dilapidated structures.

The northwest end of Walker County will be the first zone to be addressed. Zone 1 covers the area between Old Chattanooga Valley Road and McFarland Avenue, from the state line south to Highway 2. Codes Enforcement Officers have already opened cases in Zone 1, based on calls received from residents.

After making initial contact, a Codes Enforcement Officer will give a resident who is out of compliance 30 days to show progress addressing an area of concern. During a follow-up visit, if no corrective action has taken place, the resident may face a fine.