Commissioners will direct attention to comp plan during Thursday’s voting session


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – After months gathering public input at citizen meetings and an online survey, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners could adopt one of the county’s most important documents at Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting – the 2018 comprehensive plan.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Government Center Assembly Room.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has approved the plan which is a guideline elected officials use to plan how the county will look in the future. Counties are required to update the plan every five years in order to be eligible to receive state grants.

But Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond indicated during last week’s session he would like to hold one more public hearing to give citizens one last chance to provide input.

Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley and Adam Hazell, director of planning for the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, presented the plan at that meeting and surprised commissioners by introducing something called a character map.

In the past, the Board has utilized a future land use plan that directs how each parcel of land is to be zoned. As long as developers asked for rezoning that adhered to the future land use plan, the request was usually approved.

But Kinley and Hazell said commissioners could elect to use a character map in place of the future and use map. The character map offers additional flexibility in that commissioners could look at zoning on a neighborhood scale as opposed to individual parcels.

“If someone were to come before the county looking for a rezoning now, they would almost essentially have to fit exactly what it is on (the future land use map) versus having some options that might be available to them under the character area map,” Hazell said

Even if the Board did opt for additional public hearing, it could approve the plan Thursday and still hold the public meeting later since the plan can be revisited.

In other agenda items the Board is expected to vote on:

  • Rescinding its objection to an annexation request the city council approved on Dec. 3;
  • A contractor for work on the Lumpkin Campground Road and Hwy. 53 intersection;
  • A rezoning request for a three-home subdivision;
  • Grant applications and reappoint of members of the planning commission.

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