County’s withdrawal from arbitration sends annexation back to City Council

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — On December 9, 2020, the City of Dawsonville advised Dawson County of its intent to annex and rezone 70.808 acres of Tax Parcel 093 004 001, which is located near the intersection of Perimeter Road and Allen Street in Dawson County (the “Annexation”). After thorough analysis and evaluation by County staff, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to formally object to the Annexation on December 17, 2020. Unfortunately, the County has little ability to stop an annexation and generally has only the option to resort to this land use objection process.

The County objected to the Annexation because, among other things, the Annexation and its intended rezoning would place a substantial financial burden on the County and all taxpayers. The project would result in increased infrastructure demands without the benefit of any developmental impact fees to offset the costs of those demands, including adding additional traffic at the already congested intersection of Perimeter Road and Allen Street.

In accordance with State rules and regulations, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs appointed a panel of arbitrators on January 21, 2021, to conduct an arbitration on the County’s objection. Importantly, the arbitration panel is not legally authorized to stop the annexation. The arbitration panel can only offer conditions to mitigate the effects of the infrastructure burdens and impact the density of the development.

Due to the fact that the arbitration process would end with the Annexation being approved – but just with potential conditions — the Board voted unanimously to withdraw from the arbitration proceedings. The sole reason that the County voted to withdraw from the arbitration proceedings is because annexation is certain to occur under that process. In contrast, by withdrawing from the arbitration proceedings, this matter is remanded back to the City Council for the City Council to vote on the Annexation– which should be a vote to outright deny and reject the Annexation and rezoning. The County is confident that the City Council will do the right thing and make a responsible decision for the community by denying the Annexation.


BOC set to consider employee salary increase during Thursday work session

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – The Board of Commissioners will consider a pay raise for county employees when it meets in a work session Thursday (June 17) at 4 p.m. in the County Administration building. Human Resources Director Brad Gould will report the increase in pay would impact 101 county employees and cost taxpayers $116,000.

In Jan. 2019, commissioners approved a year-long salary study that recommended a pay raise for county employees that would make the county more competitive in attracting a quality workforce. At the time, Gould was asked to present information in June 2020 to show what an increase of 105 percent of the study’s recommended salary would cost.

Gould will then report the county’s healthcare broker NFP has presented a health and wellness program designed to improve the health of county employees and reduce the high-dollar health claims. Gould said he is also looking at other plans and reviewing the spouse/family portion of the county’s existing coverage.

Gould will also present a review of the employees’ handbook relative to the paid time off policy.

Planning Director Jameson Kinley will a recommendation for an alcohol ordinance that will allow agri-businesses such as a wedding venue to sell and dispense alcohol with proper licensing. Currently only commercially zoned properties are  permitted to sell or dispense alcoholic beverages.

Kinley will also ask the Board to consider updating the Business License Ordinance to include Agri-Business. Commissioners would be required to advertise a public hearing before voting on the update.

During the work session, commissioners are expected to vote on:

  • A land use regulation update to the Residential Agriculture lot size requirement;
  • Moving forward with a public hearing on the minimum Standard Code amendment to include mobile/manufactured homes;
  • Appointment of the Building Official as Local Government Agent for the purpose defined in Abandoned Mobile Home Act;
  • Moving forward with a public hearing for updated Planning Commission terms;
  • Reappointment of Angelia Brown to Avita Community Partners and Tina Brady to the Department of Family and Children’s Services Board.



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