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City approves airstrip rezoning

Racing family’s expansion project can move forward

POSTED: August 17, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Property owners Bill, Dan and Ernie Elliott have moved one step closer in their plans to redevelop their land on Elliott Family Parkway into a light industrial complex.

 

The Dawsonville City Council unanimously approved the final reading of a request to rezone the 204-acre property Monday night.

 

In addition to developing a light industrial complex for small engineering and racing-based businesses, the plan calls for expanding an existing airstrip. The site is currently home to Ernie Elliott Inc., Bill Elliott Racing, Dan Elliott Transmission and Emory Life Flight.

 

Tom Calkins, an attorney for the Elliotts, emphasized the industrial and economic benefits of approving the rezoning request, noting the high quality engineering jobs the development could bring to the county.

 

Nearby residents have complained that their quality of life will be compromised, saying increased air traffic is already noticeable.

 

Loren Mitchell, who owns property near the site, contends the city and the Elliotts failed to rezone the property in a 16-month period designated by an intergovernmental agreement concerning the city’s annexed property zoning.

 

The Elliotts’ property was annexed into the city of Dawsonville a little more than a year ago with the intention of expanding the airstrip and current businesses on the site.

 

Dawsonville City Clerk Kim Cornelison said the Elliotts’ rezoning application was filed on time and the council had already heard the request.

 

The Dawsonville Planning Commission on June 16 recommended approval of the Elliotts’ rezoning request with several stipulations, including a site plan, 50-foot buffer near existing homes and a storm water management system.

 

The Elliotts have said that expanding the airport is for safety purposes and to support existing and future businesses that would locate to the area.

 

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

 

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