Floyd County

The Unified Land Development Code subcommittee met up Thursday to look at the current regulations on hobby farms and special event venues and talk about possible changes.

While discussing hobby farms and wildlife parks and zoos, subcommittee members discussed what exotic animals could be allowed in Floyd County and what requirements the owner would have to meet to allow a special use permit.

Members gave examples of bison, camels and zebras that could be allowed in the right circumstances.

The main concern for the subcommittee members has been people requesting permission to have large carnivores or venomous snakes.

Senior Planner Brice Wood said that after the Netflix series “Tiger King” aired, the planning department got multiple calls from people asking what permit they would need to have a large cat or carnivore.

Feral pigs are another animal the subcommittee members showed concern about, since they tend to root and dig up yards if they get loose.

Prospective owners would first need the correct permits from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

They’d also have to meet the local zoning requirements, such as having around 30,000 square feet of land for the animal to roam.

Officials said the only way a person in Floyd County could have these animals would be if they had a permit for a wildlife park or zoo.

The subcommittee also discussed the proper amount of acreage that should be required for a special event venue. Wood said that the average lot size for event venues in the county, excluding the venues on the Berry College campus, is about 15 acres. That is the current set requirement for special event venues in the ULDC.

The subcommittee members decided to recommend reducing the minimum size to 10 acres, which would allow more event venues to gain permits in the county.

The proposed ordinance amendments will be brought before the planning commission on Oct. 1 for a recommendation and then go to the Floyd County Commission for a final vote in late October.

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