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County says ‘no’ to annexation request

POSTED: February 11, 2014 9:53 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Holding a map that outlines the city limits of Dawsonville, Dawson County Commissioner Gary Pichon said he had additional objections to the city’s plans to annex a residential property.

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Dawson County commissioners have reiterated their opposition to an annexation request that, if approved, would bring a home into the city of Dawsonville.

The county contends the annexation of the property on Gold Bullion Drive in the Gold Creek subdivision would allow an increase in density contrary to Dawson's comprehensive plan.

The city's zoning, county officials have said, also does not align with the current residential classification.

Holding a map that outlines the city limits, Commissioner Gary Pichon said during a meeting Thursday that he had additional objections.

"Aside from those arguments made about the city's annexation patterns, I think it's really important that the public understands that the shape of the city is supposed to be designed to deliver concentrated services to its people that it serves," he said.

Pichon went on to note that he "would be glad to hear the argument" if someone could explain how the sporadic mapping constitutes "concentrated services."

A 2007 sales tax agreement between the two governments dictates the area in which properties can be annexed. The site in question would appear not to fall in the city's area, according to the county.

Thursday's discussion was triggered by a three-page letter the county received from the city following the commission's Jan. 16 vote to deny the annexation request. In it, the city reasserts its position that the annexation is well within the law.

The contentious piece of property was bought in 2012 by Michael and Nancy Eason, who thought they were moving into the city.

"We are on an island in the county. We would like to get off the island and into the city," Michael Eason told members of the city council at a previous meeting. "We feel like we're isolated and we want to keep our home just as it is. We just want to be members of the city of Dawsonville."

The Easons have said the land would be kept as is, with no density changes.

"We have no intention of putting any more homes on that property. We want to keep it a single-family home," Eason said. "We would like to be a part of the city. We like the close relationship with public officials. Nothing wrong with the county, but there are just a lot more people there."

The city's planning board has recommended approval of the annexation request. City council likely will vote on the matter March 3 after a second public hearing.

"This land is an unincorporated island in the city. By Georgia law, we are supposed to take those pieces of property into the city," said Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan.

"We've got quite a few more. We're going to follow the law and welcome in some new neighbors."

If the city approves the measure, the county would have the option to move forward with its objection.

According to County Attorney Joey Homans, the matter could be taken before an arbitration panel to determine if law has been followed.

"If they find there is a legal error, it could be appealed in Superior Court," he said.

 

 

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