My quest today is to call attention to present zoning requirements in Colquitt County that being a 900 minimum square foot private house construction. Smaller  houses, more affordable housing will do much to lessen homelessness in our community.

The “Tiny” home phenomenon which is now worldwide is faced with discriminatory zoning. These are sincere hard working people who are searching for affordable housing. I feel many in our own community are interested in downsizing. Many in our community living with Mom and Dad could use some help with zoning requirements. Perhaps our technical college could organize classes for “dummy” home builders. I somehow get the feeling that my local government is  unaware of the possibilities to assist home ownership.

I accepted a self-motivated challenge to build a small house. I found a house plan on “Architectural Designs,” plan No. 2561 DH . House size 1,188 square foot. My first requirement was given by county code enforcement to get a septic tank permit. Immediately this became a problem. I was unaware that our county health department no longer issues the geological aspect of the permit. I was instructed by code enforcement to choose any one of the 119 preferred state-approved geologists to perform a geological survey for a common septic tank — to be handed over to the Colquitt County Health Dept., who would in turn issue the septic tank permit. The geology engineer’s fee: $350 to $800 plus mileage and the health dept.’s fee.

This change occurred because the district office in Albany was sued over a bad septic tank survey, so they handed you the consumer the bill instead of handling such lawsuits. (I assume the district health department’s attorney does not like court appearances.) At any reason or rhyme the change brought about higher home construction cost.

At age 81 I feel rejuvenated as I go about building my challenge. My helper puts in 4 hours once or twice each week, finding the heat too much — while I have been blessed with a strong heat resistant body I go usually 10 hours each day.

Construction began two weeks ago. We’ll stand the walls this week. (Still no word on resolution of the return of local septic tank issue.) I’ll need a permit upon occupancy I suppose.

Tom Rogers

Moultrie, Ga.

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