GILMER COUNTY, Ga. — At their latest meeting, the Ellijay City Council voted to approve the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) distribution rate and an Off Premise Consumption Ordinance for distilled spirits. They also approved a rezoning request to accommodate plans for new apartment units.
After approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission and a public hearing, the council voted to approve the rezoning of 17 Barclay Street. To make way for apartment units, the property will be changed from general commercial zoning to R3 – residential zoning. Code Enforcement Officer Andrew Mathis explained that the rezoning request saw several objections, including “concerns that there might be an increase of traffic in that area due to the apartments, and concern that having apartments there might decrease the property values of the area.” Paul King, who owns the building, said the building will be converted into four, one bedroom apartments. He also noted that the apartment units would cater to older tenets, with prices “in the neighborhood of $1,400 per unit.” Ellijay DDA Chairman Reece Sanford noted that middle class in Gilmer County is a household income between $34,000 and $69,000 and commented: “This type of housing really supports our middle class and there’s a great need for it in Gilmer.”
Mayor Al Hoyle presented the renegotiated Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) distribution rate of 17%, a one percent increase for the City of Ellijay. In an email included in the agenda packet, Chairman Charlie Paris wrote “The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners wishes to acknowledge, and express our appreciation for, the professional and beneficial working relationship shared with the city of Ellijay. It has been our policy to do all that we can to be a valuable partner to the city, and we have seen that the city shares that same goal when working with the county.” The council unanimously approved the distribution rate, which had already been approved by the commissioners.
The council also approved an ordinance amendment at the meeting. The Distilled Spirits Off Premise Consumption Annual Ordinance amends current regulations and provisions surrounding alcoholic beverages within the city. Notably, the council set the required annual license fee at $3,500.
The council also held a workshop prior to the regular meeting. Shepherds Loft Representative David Grubb was in attendance to discuss the city’s plan for a new website.