In a letter submitted to Dawson County Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley late in the evening of July 16, Etowah Village Partners requested a withdrawal of the zoning request for the property at the corner of Ga. 400 and Lumpkin Campground Road.
This effectively signals the end of the Etowah Village project.
“It is with much regret that we must withdraw our Rezoning Application. Upon careful consideration of the responses from county planning committee and county board of commission, one of our primary investor has decided not to proceed with the development,” reads the letter.
The letter states the primary reason for the investor’s withdrawal from the project to be “the compounding requirements and restrictions placed upon the property through the continuing zoning process,” and especially the “non-approval” of the portion of the project located on the west side of the Etowah River.
But the enormous public backlash against the project also seemed to have played a part.
“I think that the problem was that the local people didn’t like it and the investors feel obligated to do this,” said a former spokesperson of Etowah Village Partners. “I think probably they will move to another location.”
Dawson County District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines feels like this resolution is “anti-climactic.”
“A lot of people have put a lot of effort into this whole process and not just on the Commission side, but the staff side as well as citizens that have been very passionate going for or against,” explains Gaines.
“I think the ultimate reality,” Gaines continued, “is that we continue to have growth pressures, and this is just one of many that we will continue to be faced with, and our drive is to look at it the best we can, get all the facts, and try to make the best decision we can.
Because the request was not submitted ten days before the Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for July 18, the Board will likely still have a hearing on the project where the withdrawal will be presented officially and go for a vote.
But even if the withdrawal is accepted by the Board, that may not be the end of the story.
Sources close to the Board of Commissioners have stated that the owner of the property may still pursue a rezoning of the property to the ‘mixed-use village’ designation separate of any specific proposal.
“That’s just one wave, and I’m sure there’ll be a lot more coming behind it,” said Gaines.
This story will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.