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To please feds, Fayette to cut window at courthouse for passports

Fayette County officials are planning to build a service window for the county’s probate court to comply with a passport application requirement from the U.S. State Department.

The window will be from the office to the main lobby of the Justice Center complex, meaning that if any lines form they will be waiting in the main lobby of the courthouse instead of inside the probate court office, officials said.

The reasoning for the change is to create a separation between passport applicants and those who are there for birth certificate business, as the court is the local custodian and registrar for the state’s vital records system.

The new window will be built by the county’s maintenance department and will cost about $1,500, which will be paid for from revenues the county has received from the passport program.

The matter requires approval from the Fayette County Commission, which will vote on it Thursday night at its regular meeting.

The rest of the meeting’s agenda is fairly light, with a contract renewal for environmental monitoring and compliance activities at the two closed county solid waste dumps on First Manassas Mile Road. The $73,750 contract is being awarded to Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. under the proposal from county staff. Jacobs Engineering had the lowest price among six firms when the project went through the county’s bid process in late 2010, officials said.

The work under the contract includes ongoing semi-annual groundwater monitoring and monthly methane monitoring along with the reporting of those results to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The commission is also expected to consider a request to rezone a 2.49 acre parcel at the corner of Rising Starr and Old Greenville roads from agricultural-residential to agricultural-residential (legal nonconforming status).

The new rezoning would recognize that the lot does not meet the minimum size requirement of five acres because of actions taken by previous property owners in 1987 and 1992.

The parcel was purchased by its current owners, Gregory and Brenda Moody in 2006, who have informed the county they were not made aware of the fact the lot did not conform to county zoning standards.

The Moodys have also attempted to purchase additional adjacent property to reach the five-acre minimum lot size but have been unsuccessful in doing so, according to county zoning staff. The Moody’s tract contains a single family home and a detached garage.

If the rezoning is approved, the Moodys will have to request a variance for the garage because it is located 19 feet from the west property line when it was supposed to have been built at least 50 feet away.

The rezoning was approved by the county’s planning commission in November on a unanimous vote.

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