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County agrees to rezone 84-acre lot
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What is described as a cabin-resort development in the north end of the county is one step closer to reality.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners Thursday night approved local developer Chip Pearsons request to rezone 84.2 acres of land off High Shoals Road north of Amicalola Falls. The zoning will change from Residential/Exurban/Agriculture to Residential Planned Community.

Pearsons proposed development is located within three miles of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Modeled after such developments as Little St. Simons Island and Half Mile Farm in Highlands, N.C., Pearsons development would include a 12-room inn and eventually, if demand is provided, 71 cabins along the property. Planning and development documents describe the project as a cabin resort with recreational areas and a small country inn.

Pearson said he wanted also to preserve Georgia history, the Appalachian culture and food and provide an outdoors experience all year-round.

We want to go back to a simpler time, simpler place, back to our roots, to our heritage, our unique style, he said.

According to Pearson, each cabin would incorporate a historical structure from another property in Georgia.

The proposed development is called Anders Inn at New Anderson. It is named after the Anderson family, said to have settled on Dawson property before the county itself was established.

In addition to the resort-style cabins, other features include a variety of outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, biking, horseback riding and fly fishing in nearby areas. Trips can be either guided or taken solo. The development also will be equipped to handle destination weddings.

We think its a unique project, Pearson said.

District-1 Commissioner Gary Pichon said he thought the development was a good fit for the community.

The intent of this land-use development or planned community is basically one of the things that fits our county, he said. A sort of outdoor recreation that gets people to come in and spend their money and not really disrupt our lives while theyre doing it, and this is the perfect site to do that.

District-2 Commissioner James Swafford said he hopes the project will be successful, but he is concerned that emergency services would have trouble accessing the site since it is in the northernmost part of the county and at the end of a county road.

Swafford, Pichon and District-4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix voted in favor of the rezoning. District-3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby was absent.

Once completed, the development, Pearson said, will bring 15 to 18 jobs to the area and possibly additional jobs for seasonal and weekend work.

Pearson said the development is expected to open in the fall of 2016.

Also at the commissioners meeting:

A proposed pet-licensing fee died because of lack of a motion. The fee had been discussed in the previous weeks work session.

After a second public hearing, commissioners voted to approve the 2013 land-use resolution update and the comprehensive-plan update. The plans will be officially adopted at the end of the year. Pearsons development fits into the future land-use plan.