Longtime member and first chairman of the Cherokee County Municipal Planning Commission, William J. “Bill” Jarrard, 86, died Thursday.
Funeral services are Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Darby Funeral Home Chapel in Canton.
Jarrard helped organize the county Planning Commission in 1965 under then Cherokee County Commissioner Trammel Carmichael.
The community leader served for the next 42 years on numerous committees and boards for Cherokee County, including the Impact Fee Study Committee, Citizens Round Table, Impact Fee Appeal Board and the Planning Commission until his retirement in February 2007.
“He was a great member of the planning commission, he was an expert in planning, something Cherokee had needed for a number of years,” said Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood, who served as sole county commissioner in the 1980s. “In those days a lot of counties did not have zoning. He was very instrumental in helping to guide the growth of the county in its early days.”
In recognition of his service, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners named April 5, 2007, Bill Jarrard Day, the 42nd anniversary of his civic involvement.
“Bill was a good friend, and a good citizen in Cherokee County. Bill was very knowledgeable about county issues, and helped start the zoning process that has helped the county maintain its rural appeal sought by so many,” said former county commissioner Jim Hubbard. “His work on the Planning and Zoning Board set the tone for the development process, much of which is still used today.”
Cherokee Commissioner Harry Johnston also had good words for Jarrard.
“I knew Bill Jarrard for most of my life, and got to know him well when I served on the Planning Commission in 1996 to 2000. We were allies on the side of responsible growth management, and continued to work together after I was elected to the Board of Commissioners,” Johnston said. “He was probably the person I respected most on growth and development issues.”
Ursula Cox, a longtime friend and managed land use advocate, praised Jarrard for the impact he had on the community and called him a true scholar and gentleman.
“Probably no one individual except for Bill has had much impact on preserving Cherokee County’s quality of life. He truly saw the link between the economy and quality of life,” Cox said. “His adversaries might not have always wanted to hear what he had to say, but he was factual, honest and to the point.”
Jarrard grew up in Birmingham, graduated from the University of Alabama with a law degree and served in the U.S. Navy. He then worked in management for Texaco Oil for 10 years before locating to Hickory Flat community in 1964.
At that time he founded Jarrard and Associates Inc., a commercial real estate company based in Sandy Springs.
“He stepped up from the beginning of his residency in Cherokee to serve his community, his county,” Cox said. “He understood the practical reality of proper of land use planning, financial analysis and respect for the environment. Truly it is the end of an era with the passing of Bill Jarrard. He always stood up for what was right.”
Jarrard, an Eagle Scout, served many years as committee chairman for Troop 465 in Hickory Flat.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara Lewis McKinnon Jarrard, three daughters and four grandchildren.
The family will receive friends at Darby Funeral Home today from 3 to 6 p.m.
Instead of flowers, donations can be made to Troop 465 Alumni, Inc. c/o George Lingefelt, 4182 North Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock, GA 30188.