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City hears request for annexation
County remains opposed to plan
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The city of Dawsonville held a public hearing Monday night on a Dawson County-contested annexation of 37 acres on Duck Thurmond Road.

Byron Hutson has asked that the land, which is under the county zoning of residential exurban/agricultural be annexed into the city and rezoned as restricted agricultural.

No one spoke for or against the request during a public hearing, which came after county commissioners voted Aug. 21 to deny the application. The second hearing and vote are scheduled for Oct. 6.

In a letter to Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan, County Attorney Joey Homans wrote that approving the request without an adjacent 2-acre parcel would create an unincorporated island, a violation of Georgia code.

According to Homans, the application fails to contain a complete description of the land to be annexed.

Furthermore, the county contends the proposed city zoning classification differs greatly from that of the county's and would permit an increase in density.

"We are currently drafting a response letter to the county," said City Attorney Dana Miles. "We wanted to go through the first hearing to see if there would be any public comment first, but we do have a response."

According to Miles, one of the county's objections has been rectified.

"I think one of the issues brought up was on the application," he said. "There are three or four places you fill in the TMP numbers and in one place, the applicant failed to fill in one of the numbers.

"The Hutsons have come back in and fixed that. The rest of the allegations in the county's letter will be responded to in our own letter that should be sent out this week."

On Aug. 18, Dawsonville's planning board voted unanimously to recommend the annexation and rezoning be approved.
Commissioners also cited improvements the county made to Duck Thurmond in recent months for objecting to the annexation application.

County officials said they will seek $31,723 in reimbursement from the city for road repairs made starting in mid-July if the city approves the annexation.

In addition, the county has asked the city to assume sole responsibility for the road beginning at the intersection of Hwy. 53 "to avoid hazardous safety conditions that will develop with reasonable certainty if the county and city have separate maintenance responsibility for the same right of way/road."

In 2011, Hutson petitioned to annex the property but later withdrew the application.

Staff writer Michele Hester contributed to this report.