By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

The Rutledge City Council reviewed a temporary ordinance to prohibit any actions or permits related to assisted living facilities and personal care homes at their monthly meeting on Apr. 21. The temporary moratorium could potentially last for 120 days to give the city time to craft and adopt an updated ordinance in line with new state standards that were recently altered. Chuck Jarrell, director of planning and zoning for Morgan County, presented a draft of the new ordinance, which the council will potentially vote on in June.

“The state of Georgia has recently updated the requirements for the different types of care homes, so we are having to modify Rutledge’s ordinance,” said Jarrell. “Most of the zoning classifications will be probably changing from permitted-use to conditional-use. We are recommending that they all become conditional uses.” Jarrell assured that the personal care of anyone in Rutledge would not be affected by this temporary moratorium. Jarrell sees the proposed ordinance as a wise precautionary measure. “A lot of communities are having issues with unlicensed care homes or having issues with one particular license facility farming out residents to other non-licensed facilities, so the state came in and made some major changes to the state ordinance for these types of facilities,” said Jarrell.

“The counties around us are starting to have issues with the different types of care homes, so we are just going ahead and getting the required language in place before it hits us.” The city council is also considering adopting a grass and weeds ordinance to regulate the height of lawns in Rutledge. “The city doesn’t have that kind of ordinance, but wants one to make sure people keep up with their yards,” said Jarrell. “We are putting together one for the council because they asked for our help.”