Landfill Hours Updated as Enforcement Begins for Unsecured & Uncovered Loads

Chickamauga, GA – In an effort to improve the customer experience, the Walker County Landfill will begin opening to the public on Wednesdays, effective immediately.  The move comes as the county adjusts gate hours at the landfill to make public access times more consistent and less confusing.  Effective April 15th, gate hours will run 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday for all customers, residential and commercial.  Customers will need to be in line before 4:00 p.m. in order to receive service.

Also, beginning on April 15th, Walker County Police will be issuing $25 fines for unsecured/uncovered loads.  Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 40-6-248.1) clearly states no vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public road unless such vehicle is constructed or loaded or covered so as to prevent any of its load from dropping, escaping or shifting in such a manner as to:

(1) Create a safety hazard; or
(2) Deposit litter on public or private property while such vehicle is on a public road.

Unsecured/uncovered loads lead to littering and motor vehicle crashes.

How Walker Works – Clean & Lien

Walker County’s new “Blighted & Derelict Property” Ordinance, also known as the clean and lien initiative, aims to remove old buildings that are falling down and pose a hazard to society.

Here’s how it works: After a code enforcement official investigates and identifies a structure as a public nuisance, a formal complaint will be filed in Magistrate Court.  The property owner will then be notified and given an opportunity to answer the complaint.  If the judge moves forward with the case, the property owner will be given an opportunity to come into compliance on their own or demolish the structure on their own.  If the owner fails to comply with the court order to repair or demolish the building, the court can grant the county authority to tear it down and place a lien on the property for the expense.

The county plans to tackle 12 abandoned properties at a time. The following properties have been targeted for 2019:

  1. 25 Park Drive
  2. 44 Keller
  3. 78 Keller
  4. 350 Devine Street
  5. 624 James Street
  6. 7085 Highway 136 West
  7. Mission Ridge (Parcel 0108014)
  8. 17 Cleveland Road
  9. 217 Up Our Way
  10. 5098 Highway 337
  11. 15 Davis Circle
  12. 1101 Salem Road

Below is a list of contractors that are available for demolition of blighted property.  This list is in no way affiliated or endorsed by Walker County Government.  It is just available as a courtesy to the public.

Dennis Bay – 423-413-5797
Henry Blakemore – 423-593-9562
David Carlock – 423-595-2480
Thomas Smith – 423-593-5551
Daniel Vaughn – 423-443-9730
Tyler Yarbrough – 423-362-2033

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New Landfill Hours Effective April 15th

Chickamauga, GA – In an effort to improve the customer experience, the Walker County Landfill will begin opening to the public on Wednesdays, starting the week of April 15th.  The move comes as the county adjusts gate hours at the landfill to make public access times more consistent and less confusing.

Effective April 15th, gate hours will run 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday for all customers, residential and commercial.  Customers will need to be in line before 4:00 p.m. in order to receive service.

Also, beginning the week of April 15th, Walker County Police will begin issuing fines for unsecured/uncovered loads.  Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 40-6-248.1) clearly states no vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public road unless such vehicle is constructed or loaded or covered so as to prevent any of its load from dropping, escaping or shifting in such a manner as to:

(1) Create a safety hazard; or
(2) Deposit litter on public or private property while such vehicle is on a public road.

Unsecured/uncovered loads lead to littering and motor vehicle crashes.

How Walker Works – Zoning

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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

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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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