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Eric Williams, owner of Tri-County Irrigation and Live Oak Tire Center, spoke at the workshop.

LIVE OAK — Business owners and city residents informed the city’s planning and zoning board about their frustrations with the Land Development Regulations at a workshop Monday.

The workshop was facilitated by Mark Shelton, of Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. 

“The overall goal is the improvement of the health, safety, moral, order, comfort, convenience, appearance and prosperity,” Shelton said. “Great words but if your code doesn’t address these things it never comes to fruition.”

He said LDRs can be updated and changed as the city deems necessary.

City resident John Hill suggested the city get the process simplified for current and future business owners.

“These are the guys that are having to deal with the LDRs,” Hill said. “These are the guys that are investing money into the community. These are the guys who are wanting to build businesses.”

Hill added the process of building something is a lot easier in the county than the city.

Eric Williams, owner of Tri-County Irrigation and Live Oak Tire Center, is planning on opening a new facility on 72nd Trace but now is facing a zoning change with a big fee.

The land he purchased was originally in the county but has been rezoned to the city.

“Why do I have to petition to get it changed to city-commercial instead of county-commercial?” Williams asked. “Y'all acquired it from the county so why wouldn’t we waive that?”

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Ashton Petersen, owner of Big Woods BBQ and Grill, recently received a letter from the city citing her for several issues.

He asked for the city’s help to make the transition easy.

Ashton Petersen, owner of Big Woods BBQ and Grill, recently received a letter from the city citing her for several issues.

In addition to the 72nd Trace restaurant, she owns a few acres that she has been using for overflow parking for tractor-trailers, trucks hauling boats and RVs. The sign she placed to direct the traffic is too big.

Petersen said she was also informed that the city does not have anything in the LDRs for overflow parking so she would have to rezone it.

“I don’t want to turn it into a parking lot,” Petersen said.

She also received a permit from the county to install a culvert for the property.

Petersen said the property is partially in the city and not the county like she thought.

She said the city wants her to remove the culvert and start over.

Petersen said she will do what it takes to get the culvert up to code but she is not willing to remove it and start over.

Petersen said her biggest issue is that according to the city, semi trucks can’t drive on local roads including Vista Drive, the road next to her restaurant.

The road is used by delivery trucks since her parking lot is not zero-turn.

“How am I supposed to receive deliveries?” Petersen asked.

“Maybe we need to look at them and put our heads together because I am for growth,” said board member Jimmy Cherry.

Jennifer Seaman, of Seaman’s Aqua Clean, said they have looked into expansion but did not do it because of the LDRs.

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Jennifer Seaman, of Seaman’s Aqua Clean, said they won’t expand right now because of the LDRs.

“The process was going to take too long and even going through the process, you may not change them,” Seaman said.

Shelton said change cannot come without workshops like Monday’s.

“This is a first step of looking into revisions,” Shelton said.

He will work with the city staff on recommendations for the city.

Jessie R. Box is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government and police. ​

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