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Gold Creek battle ends

POSTED: November 6, 2013 4:00 a.m.

After more than six months of negotiations, the newest addition to the Gold Creek Foods Inc. property has been fully rezoned.

The Dawsonville City Council voted 2-1 on Monday, with Mike Sosebee recusing himself due to a potential conflict of interest, to approve the rezoning of the contested land parcel.

Sosebee's son is Mark Sosebee, owner of the chicken processing facility.

The property, which was annexed into the city June 3, originally received a restricted industrial commercial district designation. It was zoned as annexed property, or AP.

However, during a July 8 meeting, City Attorney Dana Miles explained to the council that Michele Battle, attorney for Sosebee Realty, which handled the land deal with Gold Creek Foods, had advised Dawsonville that neither party had sought the designation.

The topic for annexation and rezoning first surfaced at a planning commission meeting April 15. The city council first heard it on May 6.

The rezoning, from annexed property to highway business, or HB, allows the food plant to use the property for certain business purposes, but not for full industrial or commercial uses, such as cold storage buildings or commercial parking.

In order for the land to be rezoned to highway business, Gold Creek Foods Inc. had to agree to four stipulations. They included:

• No commercial vehicles, such as tractor trailers or refrigerated storage vehicles, are allowed to park on the rezoned property.

• An 8-foot tall privacy fence will be set up around the 30-foot buffer zone between the commercial plant and the residential areas and school surrounding it.

• The fence must be completed within 12 months of the rezoning.

• No additional structures can be built on the property, which already includes a company-owned house in which no one lives.

Battle assured the council that the only possible changes it would see would be additional parking, which could be at least two years away.

She also assured the council that, as a sign of good faith, the food plant had begun planting 4- to 5-foot tall trees around the property.



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