Recent annexations and the addition of several new subdivisions caused a surge in Dawsonville’s population since the last census was taken in 2000.
Estimates released from the U.S. Census Bureau last week show that Dawsonville, like most cities in north Georgia, has experienced significant increases in population, more than doubling in just more than seven years.
While other nearby north Georgia cities, like Flowery Branch and Braselton, have also seen substantial growth, Dawsonville may have seen the largest growth in population between 2000 and 2007.
The bureau estimates the city’s population has grown by nearly 130 percent since the last census.
In 2000, Dawsonville’s population barely topped 600 people. Seven years later, Dawsonville’s population tops 1,400.
Danny Lewis, executive director of the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center, said he was not surprised by the estimated population explosion in Dawsonville.
“We’re seeing a lot of what I call ‘half-backs,’ folks who moved to Florida and got scared by all the hurricanes in one year. They didn’t want to go back up North, but wanted to go where there are four seasons,” Lewis said.
Dawsonville Mayor Joe Lane Cox said the development of a half dozen new subdivisions inside the city limits has been the driving force of Dawsonville’s increased population.
Subdivisions developed in recent years on Howser Mill and Shoal Creek roads have been completely built out and fully occupied, aside from a few homes in resell.
Many houses in Red Hawk Ridge, on Burt Creek Road, are still under construction, but approximately 120 new residents moved into the subdivision last year, according to
Dawsonville Planning Director Steve Holder.
Red Hawk Ridge is the only subdivision in the city that is still selling homes in the current economy, Holder added.
Holder credits continued home sales in Red Hawk Ridge with the subdivision’s affordability, adding the economy has definitely slowed Dawsonville’s growing population in recent months.
“Things have slowed down now,” Cox said.
While the recent annexations have increased the size of Dawsonville, the city has not seen a great population boost from the more than 3,500 acres annexed.
“The annexations have been a part in the growth, but we don’t have a lot of people to show for the annexations. Just wait,” Cox said.
To compensate for the rapid growth, the city of Dawsonville has implemented a number of improvement techniques from water and sewer expansions, to increased staff and the addition of curbside garbage pickup. The city of Dawsonville also started its planning department and hired Holder as the city’s first planning director.
As for the future, the economy may have slowed the population growth, but the city of Dawsonville is prepared when the boom hits once again. “We’ll continue to stay with and expand our basic services that currently exist,” said Holder.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.