A decision that many anticipated for several long months didn't happen on Monday as planned at a meeting of the Dawsonville City Council.
That's because the request by Atlanta Motorsports Park owner Jeremy Porter to amend zoning stipulations for his property has been withdrawn, according to a letter from attorney George Butler.
The letter, sent May 26 to Planning Director Casey Majewski, cites that the request, which included extended operation hours, looser noise restrictions, a PA system and new residential structures, was improperly advertised and that Porter had decided to withdraw the entire request.
"[City Attorney] Dana Miles contacted me three days after the last public hearing and brought up for the first time in this entire four-month process (which began January 17) the question of whether my client would be willing to withdraw those critical "residential components" from its pending ZA-89 on the basis that the entire ZA-89 was improperly advertised, since the CIR zoning classification in the City of Dawsonville does not support residential uses," Butler wrote.
Butler goes on to write that the 58 garage condos and 10 micro-cabins that had been a part of the request since the beginning would require rezoning. He states that Miles suggested a PUD, or Planned Unit Development, would be the best zoning category for that portion of the property.
After Miles' alleged May 18 request that the residential components be withdrawn, Porter decided to withdraw the zoning request completely.
"As things now stand, essentially no valid public hearing has yet been held on ZA-89," Butler wrote.
Miles said Tuesday that the city staff was not unaware of the restrictions of CIR zoning in regards to residential use.
"In its application, AMP sought a change of conditions applicable to its property that would allow temporary residential use similar to a hotel or resort property," Miles said. "Since the City Council enacted the CIR zoning, it would have the authority to vary that zoning either as to the AMP property under site plan specific zoning or as to all CIR zoned properties to allow this type of temporary residential use. As AMP withdrew its application, the decision on whether to do this or not never reached the council."
AMP cannot reapply for any other zoning change for six months and will lose its previous application fees.
In other business:
The council voted unanimously to take no further action on an ethics complaint against former Downtown Development Authority board member Seanie Zappendorf.
Zappendorf resigned from her position on the board May 8 after the city received a letter that Miles and County Manager Bob Bolz both deemed an ethics complaint.
The council voted Monday to declare the complaint a moot point and allow Bolz to contact the complainant and tell them the city would not be pursuing the issue further.
The council also discussed creating an ethics committee to have on hand for any future complaints.
Zappendorf's resignation leaves three vacancies on the DDA, which was also discussed at Monday's meeting. The city will be accepting resumes for the positions.
The council also reviewed and approved a new social media policy in the wake of the complaint, in which Parks stated that Zappendorf made comments about her interactions with Parks on Facebook.
Rezoning ordinance and annexation fee
The council is expected to have its first public hearing on a new annexation fee and an amendment to the city's rezoning ordinance on June 19. The second hearing will be held on July 10.
If approved as it reads now, the rezoning fee schedule will stay the same, an annexation fee of $250 will be charged for each parcel coming into the city and if five or more property owners whose property are islands surrounded by city property wish to annex at the same time, they can apply to petition the council for a reduction in rezoning fees.
The council held the first of two budget hearings for the 2017-2018 budget that will go into effect July 1. The $5 million budget, prepared and presented by City Clerk Bonnie Warne, illustrates an increase in revenue over the previous year.
The second hearing will be June 19, at which time action can be taken to amend or adopt the budget.
Maple Street townhomes
City staff received a traffic study related to the proposed amendment to zoning stipulations for two plots of land for townhome development. The study has been sent to the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission for review and the results will be presented to the council as early as the July 10 meeting.
The council could then vote to remove language that keeps Mississippi developer Len Reeves from marketing his proposed 54 townhomes on nine acres on Maple Street for occupants of all ages, instead of just active adults as outlined by current stipulations.