I was supposed to testify yesterday (March 21, 2012) before the Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee on an amendment that was to have been attached to a land use bill. The amendment would have added language to the bill eliminating historic district subdivision review from Georgia’s historic preservation commissions.
A bill with the same language had been defeated in February 2012 by a House Judiciary subcommittee. I had testified twice before that body in opposition to the bill, then known as HB 802. At yesterday’s hearing, the hearing began and the chairman called for testimony. The first person to speak in opposition was DeKalb County Dist. 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader. Rader prefaced his testimony by stating that he was there to speak against an amendment (historic preservation) that had yet to be attached to the bill.
The chairman interrupted Rader’s testimony and informed him that there were no plans to attach any additional language to the bill, which covered pre-existing covenants and zoning laws. At that point Rader left the witness table and no further testimony was taken. Since my testimony had been prepared and distributed to the committee members by Georgia Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, I didn’t want to let it go to waste. The un-delivered testimony is reprinted below. Continue reading