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Letter to the Editor: Concerned about big development in Dawson and Lumpkin counties

The developer of a 4,000-acre project spanning two counties off of Hwy. 9 and Hwy. 52, is seeking approval to open a music venue and atv park, including 1,000 cabins and a gun range, to begin operation in May 2019.

Please pay close attention to this request as the owner and developer have stated that this venue will hold 50,000 to 400,000 people. This certainly has a great possibility of creating a traffic nightmare, with up to 200,000 cars on our highways, county roads and residential areas. It has been downplayed that this will only be on the weekends, but if successful, will actually become a big problem seven days a week.

This plan has been presented so far without any type of traffic studies, noise studies, crime studies, fire safety studies or any environmental studies. The land in question is adjacent to creeks and tributaries, impacting the overall watershed.

Such an approval, without careful consideration, will forever alter the quality and character of our county. It will set the precedent to allow for unplanned development anywhere in Lumpkin and Dawson counties.

I am asking that all county citizens show up at the meeting of the Lumpkin County Commission at 4 p.m. May 7 at the old courthouse in downtown Dahlonega, when this project will be discussed. The hearing on this project will follow the work session, which begins at 4 p.m.

It’s imperative that we ask our Commissioners to hold off on any approval until there is a comprehensive review of this massive project, and how it will impact the surrounding community with noise, traffic, erosion, watershed pollution, petroleum runoff into nearby streams and residential property, as well as how it will affect our wildlife, hunting and fishing.

Please attend and support the county commissioners in making certain that this development be done in a responsible way, using best practices, with careful planning and consideration of ways to minimize impacts to surrounding neighbors, nearby watersheds, as well as wildlife.

We all have a stake in this meeting and discussion. Please be sure to attend and bring your neighbors. This project will change your life.


Jim Smulian