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County considering tweaks to regulations

POSTED: January 27, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Dawson County planners say proposed revisions to residential zoning areas will better align districts with the county’s future land-use plan.


The proposed ordinance would place new regulations on short-term rental property, home-based businesses and accessory buildings in residential areas, among others.


It was drafted by a citizens committee made up each member of the county’s planning commission and their alternates.


There are currently no limits on the size of accessory buildings, few rules governing home offices and occupations and no restrictions on where short-term rentals can occur.


According to Planning Director David McKee, the proposed regulations would limit accessory buildings to 1,000 square feet on less than 3 acres and place rules on short-term rentals, such as requiring permits that could be revoked.


In addition, the regulations would more clearly define what type of home businesses would be allowed in residential zoning districts.


Those on both sides of the issues, some wanting more regulations and some suggesting less, voiced their concerns to the Dawson County commission Jan. 21 during the first of two public hearings on the matter.


Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, commended commissioners for being proactive in considering the changes, while also cautioning them to remember the number of residents “exploring entrepreneurship” in the current economy.


McKee said about 55 percent of the county’s businesses are home based, “so this affects a lot of our businesses.”


Morris Mayo, who lives near the lake off War Hill Park Road, said he pays rent in Forsyth County and would love to move his business to Dawson if the county allowed more space to operate from his home.


Pepper Petit, who also lives near the lake, said potential new residents would be deterred from buying in Dawson County without regulations on what types of accessory buildings and home-based businesses could be located next door.


A second public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 4 in the G.L. Pete Gilleland Council Chambers at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.


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