I am disappointed and concerned with the recommended rezoning denial made by the Dawson County Planning Commission regarding the proposed Etowah Village development project.
Yes, there will be increased traffic as a result of the development. There will be increased traffic regardless of the existence of the development.
Increased development is coming. We see it now, and read and hear how, for the next decade, in the 400 North corridor is one of the most anticipated growth areas outside metro Atlanta.
Same would say that the development that has occurred over the past few years in Dawson County has been greed driven; others would say it was smart. Either way, traffic increases.
This recent growth has provided us with more fast food establishments, more chain retail options, more tire/auto/car wash centers… more traffic and more of what we already had.
Approximately one fourth of the Etowah Village Project acreage is designed for open green space. There is also acreage designated for a fire station, a canoe launch and a county park (40 acres) - things that, if seeking individual county approval, would most likely be supported by county residents. These are some of the elements that make the project significantly different from Avalon’s footprint.
We can be proactive and support the addition of a development that enhances the county, that provides a long-term community benefit , unlike more fast food and retail that tend to be short-lived. Something not already in existence. Something that increases the value of real estate in Dawson County. Something that can help pave the way for desirable industry to locate here and add to our tax base, thereby decreasing our reliance on retail and eating establishments for providing that valuable and needed funding.
The real estate “For Sale” signs have increased along Ga. 400 in our county in just the past month. Folks say as long as the development stays around the outlet mall, it is okay. But we know it is not going to stay there, like it or not.
The Etowah Village project is projected to take up to a decade to complete. We can support it and know that they development coming has long-term value and benefit or potentially watch the retail crawl its way north along the highway.
Either way, increased traffic is coming over the next decade. We can think long-term or throw the dice.
Gregg Anne Zubay