At least 37 annexation requests will be brought before the Dawsonville City Council after the council voted in January to waive fees for island annexations for 60 days.
The city later decided to extend the waiver to include other annexations.
Islands are unincorporated property surrounded by the city limits but not part of the city.
In July, there were 72 islands in the Gold Creek subdivision alone, and many residents of the subdivision, who had been trying to annex into the city since February of 2017, were incensed by the council’s decision in July to instate an annexation fee in addition to making changes to the rezoning fee schedule.
The council added a $250 annexation fee, which is in addition to rezoning fees that the city already charges for properties annexing into the city, on July 10.
The council also added a $50 per additional acre charge after the first acre on all rezonings, with a $5,000 cap on the fee. The previous schedule applied that charge to only six out of the 16 zoning classifications.
The changes meant that some property owners wishing to annex into the city would have to pay double (or more) than what they previously would have paid. Someone wanting to rezone their property to R1 under the previous schedule would pay a fee of $250. With the addition of the new annexation fee, the cost to annex would be $500, or more if the property is more than one acre.
The council also added language that addresses islands, and which allows the city to decide on a case-by-case basis if they wish to lower the fee, or not charge it at all. The blanket no-charge on annexation fees is a step further to placate the Gold Creek homeowners, who were upset to learn they would have to pay more to annex into the city than some of their neighbors had in the past.
On Monday the city’s planning commission heard 18 requests from property owners who wish to become part of the city, 17 of which were from the Gold Creek subdivision.
All were approved by the planning commission and will be brought before the city council March 19 and April 9 for public hearings before they can be officially approved.
A second application deadline is set for March 12, after which the planning commission will hear the requests on April 9, and the city council will hold public hearings for the requests April 23 and May 7.
The application deadline for the first hearing on Monday was March 5. Since then, at least 19 more requests have been submitted to the city, still mostly in Gold Creek.
The city notified island properties in a letter Jan. 12 and in an additional letter Feb. 8 that the city would waive the annexation fees.
The letter, sent by Planning Director Casey Majewski, states that residents of the city still vote for all county officials but also vote for city officials, and that current City of Dawsonville water or sewer customers will receive lower rates if annexed into the city. She also stated that no additional property taxes are levied by the city.
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted March 1 not to take any action on the first 18 annexation requests.