Bethlehem updates unified development code

BETHLEHEM - Barrow County's code inspectors will find it easier to do their jobs in Bethlehem.

The City Council changed the town's unified development code to mirror the county's.

That change eliminated the planning commission for rezones, meaning that rezoning requests now go directly to the City Council. Barrow County's Planning Department will now offer rezoning recommendations.

The UDC also limits the number of sexually oriented businesses permitted to operate inside Bethlehem's city limits.

The setback between residential and commercial properties was expanded from 50 feet to 100 feet, and the architectural design standards for business facades from Christmas Avenue and East and West Star Street were upgraded.

The city also reworked its zoning map.

"We had two properties that were marked commercial on the zoning map, but they were actually residential," said Mayor Sandy McNab.