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City of Dawsonville holding second annexation campaign
City hall

The city of Dawsonville is yet again waiving annexation and rezoning fees for parcels that are currently unincorporated.

On Jan. 2, letters were sent to around 140 property owners whose property has been identified as an “island,” or a piece of property surrounded by city property but that is itself not a part of the city.

There is a $500 minimum fee associated with annexation because part of each annexation involves rezoning to the city zoning ordinance, which costs the city money to perform. The annexation and rezoning fees will be waived completely if applicable property owners, both island and non-island, apply for annexation within 120 days.

“The purpose of this letter is to invite you to petition for annexation of your land into the city of Dawsonville so that the city can eliminate potential unincorporated islands and reinforce its area of influence in order to better provide services to the area,” the letter reads.

The letter also reminds citizens that as part of the city, they will still be able to vote for all Dawson County officials but would also be able to vote for city officials as well. City water and sewer rates will also be lowered upon annexation if the property owner is currently serviced by city water and sewer.
The letter states that no additional property taxes are levied by the city, and that Georgia law gives the city the power to bring in unincorporated islands by city ordinance.

“However, the city prefers it when people come into the city voluntarily,” the letter reads. “We hope that you will consider this opportunity.”

Each letter included an annexation petition, which can also be obtained by contacting the Planning and Zoning Department at (706) 235-3256 or by stopping by City Hall, which is located at 415 Hwy. 53 East.

This is the second campaign by the city since last year to “clean up” unincorporated islands that were created by annexations over the years.

The council voted in January 2018 to waive fees for island annexations for 60 days, and then later decided to extend the waiver to include other annexations. Changes to the city’s ordinances in 2017 had instated an annexation fee for the first time and restructured the rezoning fee schedule, meaning that some property owners wishing to annex into the city would have to pay double or more than what they had previously paid.

The council also added language to address the islands, and allowed the council to decide on a case-by-case basis to lower the fee or not charge it at all.