Ten Commandments displayed in Barrow annex building

WINDER - The Ten Commandments are once again hanging on the wall of a Barrow County government building.

The Board of Commissioners along with Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn; Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson; and Dr. Jody Hice who heads the organization Ten Commandments Georgia; gathered to mount a nine-piece historical display that includes the Ten Commandments.

In 2005, Barrow County officials were forced to remove a Ten Commandments display from the courthouse's breezeway following a lawsuit initiated by an anonymous person in 2003.

In November, the Board voted to accept private donations to purchase the $895 display. It includes the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, Preamble to the Georgia Constitution, Lady Liberty, The Magna Carta, The Mayflower Compact, The National Motto and the Star Spangled Banner as well as the Ten Commandments.

The display hangs in the county annex building because the courthouse breezeway is not large enough to accommodate all nine frames, County Commissioner Chairman Doug Garrison said in an earlier interview.

In 2006, the state legislature passed a bill allowing local governments to post copies of the Ten Commandments in courthouses as long as the displays also include the Mayflower Compact and Declaration of Independence.

Barrow loses 177.5 acres of agricultural land

Barrow County's steady evolution from a rural farming community to a residential suburban bedroom is reflected in its rezonings. The Board voted Tuesday to rezone about 177.5 acres of agricultural land to residential uses in four separate motions.

A request tabled from November and December to rezone 57.87 acres on Loganville Highway for a master planned community was approved, despite a negative recommendation from the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center.

"All the things the DRI discussed are covered in our code," said Guy Herring, planning director.

The Board approved a second proposed master-planned development on 113.76 acres at the intersection of Ga. Highway 53 and Robertson Bridge Road. The development will hold 133 single-family homes from 1,800 to 3,000 square feet, 109 town homes, 42 assisted living homes and 11 acres of commercial development.

About five acres at 957 Old Thompson Mill Road were rezoned to residential to be subdivided into four separate parcels and a .46 acre parcel on Nunnally Road was rezoned so it can join a .603 residential plot.

In other business, Jen Williams, a four-year veteran of the Leisure Service Board, was reappointed to her post.