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County objects to annexation into the city
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Commissioners last week voted to deny the application from a county resident that wants to annex his west side property in the city of Dawsonville.

In a letter to Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan, County Attorney Joey Homans said approving the request made by Byron Hutson to annex the 37-acre parcel on Duck Thurmond Road without the 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.

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

"The proposed change in permissible land use will result in a substantial change in the intensity of the allowable use of the property or a change to an allowable use that differs substantially from the existing usage and density suggested for the property by the county's comprehensive land use plans and permitted for the property pursuant to the county's zoning ordinance and land use ordinance," Homans said.

Commissioners also cited improvements the county made to Duck Thurmond Road in recent months for objecting to the annexation application.

"Infrastructure demands related to the proposed change in land use or allowable use directly impact Duck Thurmond Road. If the proposed annexation is approved, then a portion of Duck Thurmond Road shall become the responsibility of the city of Dawsonville because the city will have annexed land on both sides of Duck Thurmond Road, a county right-of-way," Homans said.

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

The county has asked the city to assume sole responsibility for Duck Thurmond 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."

District 1 Commissioner Gary Pichon has been vocal with his discontent regarding Dawsonville's annexation practices, saying the city's shape, which he describes as "spider-legged," branches too far from the main body of downtown.

"Now, a city is normally thought of as a high concentration of people which is serviced by a city government for the things which allow high density of population," he said. "Water lines, sewer lines, police, fire protection, land-use planning, garbage collection and disposal, parks and open space, noise ordinances, shooting ordinances, animal control, smoke and odor controls and others. I do not see this when I look at Dawsonville."

Pichon has not specifically voice opposition to Hutson's annexation application.

His concerns, he said, were directed at municipal leadership.

"People out in the county don't get a say about the land development next door to them. They don't get to vote for the mayor or council members. It really is taxation without representation. It is government without representation," he said.

In 2011, Hutson petitioned to annex the property but later withdrew the application. This time around, the matter goes before the city council on Sept. 6 and Oct. 6.