Rutledge suspends ‘assisted living’ zoning applications

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Rutledge City Council held a first reading of an ordinance that would temporarily prohibit zoning actions dealing with “assisted living facilities, personal care homes, nursing homes and similar facilities during their regular meeting on March 17.

The text of the proposed ordinance acknowledges that Rutledge’s current zoning definitions describing assisted care facilities are “out of date and do not adequately protect the public interests.” The stopgap ordinance, which would allow planning and zoning staff a period of 120 days to construct permanent changes to the zoning regulations, seeks to prevent “inappropriate development inconsistent with the City’s comprehensive land use plan and zoning regulations.”

Six specific types of assisted care facilities are listed in the ordinance: assisted living facilities, group homes, homeless shelters, nursing homes, personal care homes, and transitional housing facilities. The ordinance states that requests for building permits for general repair or maintenance on existing buildings that house such facilities will be exempted from the terms of the ordinance.

The Rutledge City Council will hold the second reading of the ordinance at their next monthly meeting on April 20. The council approved a motion to expend $2,734.90 on computer hardware and software updates for city hall. Currently, the city uses three computers with the Windows XP operating system for official purposes.

City Clerk Debbie Rutherford informed the council that Microsoft will not issue updated support for Windows XP beginning April 8, 2014, creating the need for updated computers at Rutledge’s city hall. Rutherford also noted the city’s need to upgrade their current QuickBooks 2011 and Carbonite software, indicating that their current version of QuickBooks would cease to support the city’s payroll after May 31, 2014.

The city approved a business license for the Dollar General, which is currently being constructed near the intersection of Highway 278 and Newborn Road. Rutledge Mayor James Bratcher stated that the business should be open in the next 45 days. A business license Great Southern Lawn and Landscape, submitted by Randall Williams, was also approved by the council.

The council also approved an alcohol license for Rutledge Wings, which received a business license during the council’s February regular meeting. Bratcher stated that the restaurant would also open sometime in the next 45 days but that it would not begin selling alcohol immediately, since that license must also be approved by the state.

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