Board approves comprehensive plan with future land use map

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the county’s comprehensive plan during Thursday’s work session that includes the future land use map.

Commissioner Chris Gaines’ motion to approve included directions to Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley and Terri Tragesser, chairwoman of the Long Range Planning Committee to meet in the next 30 days to develop a plan on how to move forward and create a Hwy. 53 overlay. “That overlay is critical,” Gaines said.

The comprehensive plan is the road map commissioners use to plan for future growth. The state requires counties update the plan every five years and submit it to the Department of Community Affairs in order to attain Certified Local Government status and to be eligible to receive state grants.

The county has held numerous public information meetings and conducted an online survey to keep citizens in the loop about the proposed plan.

Commissioners also discussed whether it would be more cost effective to contract with a law firm for legal representation or hire an in-house attorney.

County Attorney Lynn Frey retired in December, citing health issues. Since then the county contracted with Cumming-based Jarrard & Davis to handle legal issues for a 60-day period.

Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix pointed out that department heads had communicated their satisfaction with the firm and Gaines and Chairman Billy Thurmond expressed support for contracting with a firm.

“I think we find efficiencies in a firm that brings a depth of knowledge in various areas that we have to go through,” Gaines said.  “Whether it be zoning, HR, litigation or whatever it may be that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every issue I want it to be a firm that represents other communities and has already been there, done that type of thing.”

Other issues discussed include:

  • Presentation of the Capital Improvement Element annual update;
  • Presentation of the FY 2019 Legacy Link Nutrition Program Services Addendum
  • Presentation of the Community Development Block Grant Language Access Plan;
  • Presentation of the professional exemption request for the interim county attorney;
  • Appointment of Christie Haynes Moore, John Drew and Betsy McGriff to the Joint Development Authority;
  • Discussion of grant application procedures.

Items discussed during work sessions are not generally voted on, but placed on the agenda for the next voting session.

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