The Dawsonville City Council voted Monday night to table a decision on a proposed annexation and rezone application that would allow 53 homes to go in at the corner of Allen Street and Perimeter Road.
The council decided to extend their decision until the Dec. 3 meeting to allow for more time for a written agreement to be drawn between the property owners and the city over a shared detention pond to be built on adjacent city property.
Applicants Michael Turner and Myles Montgomery are petitioning to annex into the city limits 11.407 acres and rezone to R-3, or single family residential with a density of three units per acre, as well as rezone another 2.768 acres already in the city from light industrial to R-3.
The applicants also asked for a variance of 3.74 units per acre as opposed to the standard three. The variance was approved by the planning commission Oct. 8, with conditions and contingent upon the city council approving the annexation and rezoning.
The council on Monday also addressed a letter of objection from the Dawson County Board of Commissioners regarding the application.
In a 3-1 vote Oct. 18, the BOC decided to send a letter of objection to the city in regards to the pending annexation and rezoning request for the 11.407 acre tract. The letter, written by County Attorney Lynn Frey, states that “these increased residential use densities would differ from and be inconsistent with the county’s land use resolution” and that it appears annexation of the parcels “might create an unincorporated island, to which the county objects.”
“That is still pending,” Mayor Mike Eason said Nov. 5. “We at this point need to table this matter and request that our city attorney seek arbitration with the county.”
On the other end of Perimeter Road, another subdivision is in the works.
Also on Nov. 5, the Dawsonville Planning Commission heard a site plan change for a 36.84 acre development at the corner of Perimeter Road and Hwy. 9 S.
Current plans show a large residential development with a smaller commercial portion at the outside corner of the lot, where a horse pasture is currently.
The current zoning for the Planned Unit Development, or PUD, was approved in 2006. The residential portion, located on 32.6 acres, was originally earmarked for 123 housing units at a density of 3.77 units per acre. The applicant, Fall Leaf Residential LLC, is asking for a reduction to 102 units, with a new density of 3.12 units per acre.
Tommy Barnes of Fall Leaf Residential said that the property owners would be developing the commercial portion independently of the subdivision.
The applicant has also requested to retain an originally approved 70-foot front lot line instead of an increase to the current 75-foot standard and will be providing 19 percent open space with amenities to include a small park with a playground. The development will have an entrance on Hwy. 9 and on Perimeter Road.
“They are proposing a right-in, right-out on Hwy. 9, which should be beneficial as far as traffic flow,” Planning Director Robbie Irvin said.
City planning staff recommended approval of the request.
Planning commission member Steve Sanvi said he was concerned about how the development would impact the potential truck bypass around the city, as one of the potential routes goes along Perimeter Road and crosses Hwy. 9.
“We're going to get to a point in our development of the city where we’re waiting on the state to do some of these things and we’re going to be putting roadblocks in front of them if we don’t do this planning in a responsible way,” Sanvi said. “That was one of my concerns if we’re approving a lot of density in these areas that we’re going to run into a bottleneck so to speak for future plans.”
Sanvi motioned to table any vote for 30 days. The commission voted unanimously to table the request until the next planning commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3.
In other business:
Consideration of impact fee study
The council also reviewed an impact fee study proposal by Bill Ross of Ross and Associates. Impact fees are one-time fees collected on new developments during the building permit process that are intended to help offset the costs of capital improvements and services.
If implemented, the fees collected by the city could help fund capital improvement projects in the categories of parks and recreation, road improvements and water and sewer as the city grows.
Eason said he wanted to get input from the council members on what they thought about pursuing an impact fee study.
“This process will have to start with a contract with a consultant and it would probably take about six months and we would have to look at trying to manage our continuation of growth inside the city,” Eason said.
City council member Steve Tolson said he was interested in moving forward with the study.
“It is my opinion that a study is worthwhile to see whether we burden the taxpayers or we ultimately put the infrastructure cost on the newcomers to the city,” Tolson said.
The council could vote to pursue an impact fee study at the Dec. 3 meeting.
Consideration of TSPLOST projects
The city council also reviewed a potential list of projects that could be funded by TSPLOST, or a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, if approved by county voters in March.
County and city officials met a few times in October to discuss the tax, which cannot be taken to voters until a project list is nailed down.
District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines said in October that the potential revenue for a TSPLOST at one cent over five years is $50 million. The county and city must have an intergovernmental agreement and decide on a percentage split. The current SPLOST is divided 85 percent to the county and 15 percent to the city.
The city’s list of projects currently includes repaving and resurfacing several roads, some working jointly with the county, as well as several proposed roundabouts.
Extension of Perimeter Road to bypass the city is also on the list.
Items on the county’s proposed project list include widening and rehabilitating Shoal Creek Road as well as replacing the bridge; rehabilitating and widening Dogwood Lane and Nightfire Drive in the Chestatee subdivision; improving the Lumpkin Campground Road corridor; widening Elliott Road and funding the existing asset road improvement program.
The council also adopted a resolution to include a consent agenda with the intent to make meetings shorter as well as approved an updated speed zone ordinance.
The council also heard the first reading of a new zoning ordinance and amendments to the city’s business license ordinance, with second readings and public hearings on both to be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 3.