The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted March 16 approve two resolutions conveying their disapproval of the city of Dawsonville's current consideration of the Elliott Field airport, as well as amendments to stipulations asked for by the Atlanta Motorsports Park.
In the resolutions, the commission does not deny that the city has the right to make any decisions about obtaining the airport and potentially approving the looser noise and time restrictions at the motorsports park.
The resolutions do however make it clear that the county does not approve of the actions being taken and requests that the city consider the opposition of Dawson County citizens.
"The Dawson County Board of Commissioners has not been asked to and does not approve the acquisition of the airport, is not a party to the transaction and is not contributing county funds," the first resolution read.
The city ratified an agreement on March 6 that transfers ownership of a portion of the Elliott family-owned airport runway to the city.
The agreement has been signed by all parties, but completion hinges upon a grant from the Federal Aviation Association and the Georgia Department of Transportation, which if attained would allow the city to purchase the rest of the runway as well as surrounding airport property from the Elliotts.
The resolution against the Atlanta Motorsports Park stipulation amendments comes after recent citizen pushback to park owner Jeremy Porter's requests.
Porter has submitted an application to the city asking for extended hours on the "low-noise" go-kart track, 50 foot LED light fixtures to illuminate the track, a PA system (one was not permitted before), decreased restrictions on noise during special event days (15 total days per calendar year) as well as the potential to add garage condos on the property.
Nearby residents of the park spoke at the Feb. 13 and March 13 city planning commission meetings, begging that the looser noise restrictions and longer hours of operation for the go-karts not be approved.
A 2-1 vote by the city planning commission on March 13 recommended that the city council approve the amendments to the stipulations as agreed upon by both Porter and the city planning department.
Action on the application could be seen at the city council's April 3 meeting.
"The Board of Commissioners of Dawson County does respectfully urge the city of Dawsonville Planning Commission and the governing authority of the city of Dawsonville to take into consideration the opposition of Dawson County citizens and the effect such relaxation of standards would have on Dawson County citizens having property near the AMP site," the second resolution read.
Both resolutions were approved unanimously by Thurmond, District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby and District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix. District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett and District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines were both absent at the meeting due to training.
In other news:
The commission voted to approve a letter of support for the Georgia Department of Transportation to fix dangerous Ga. 400 intersections in front of the Chick-fil-A and at Kilough Church Road through the use of access controls.
Similar to access controls already completed at the Beartooth Parkway and Industrial Park Road intersection, the improvements will not allow for crossing movement from one side of Ga. 400 to the other, nor allow for any left turn out of the intersections.
This means much of the traffic coming out of Kilough Church Road will have to travel north to the traffic light at Harmony Church Road and conduct a U-turn if drivers wish to travel south on Ga. 400, and similarly for those exiting the outlet mall wishing to go north.
The measures are an attempt by GDOT to mitigate serious auto accidents that occur at these two intersections. GDOT has communicated to the county that traffic signals are not warranted at these intersections.
Because the roads are state owned and maintained, the county's permission was not necessary for the improvements to be made. According to McKee, once GDOT receives the letter of support from the commission, workers will be ready to start work as soon as possible.