Dawson County Planning Director presents update of proposed county alcohol ordinance


Jameson Kinley

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – Planning Director Jameson Kinley presented an update of some key changes to the county’s proposed alcohol ordinance at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting. The final ordinance must be approved by the Board of Commissioners.

Explained Kinley, “The reason for the update is to add the section about agribusiness, which is really our wedding venues.”

Wedding venue operators who want to allow alcohol on the premises must either obtain an alcohol license or — if they are renting the venue — to allow the renter to bring their own alcohol to serve guests – brown bagging.

“Brown bagging must be on a premise where a business license has been issued,” Kinley said. The responsibility for following state law and county ordinance is the responsibility of the renter.

Wedding venues will not be required to comply with the 50-50 regulation that requires businesses that serve alcohol to generate 50 percent of their revenue from food sales.

In other business, the Planning Commission approved the following variances:

  • A request by Thomas and Leann Harter to vary from the Dawson County Subdivision Regulations Article V that states that no more than five lots will be created from a parent tract within a five-year period;
  • A request by Kurt Trump to vary from the Dawson County Land Use Resolution Article III, Section 309 C.3 for a front setback reduction from 40 feet to 20 feet to bring a non-conforming structure into compliance.

Commissioners took the following action on rezoning requests:

  • Approved a request by the applicant, Jim King, to postpone a rezoning request on ZA 21-07 regarding the building of retail/office/warehouse space from RA to CHB. and ZA 21-08 to rezone 30.48 acres for the purpose of developing a 145 semi-attached residential neighborhood from RA to RMF.
  • Recommended approval by the Board of Commissioners of a request by Tim Hamby to rezone TMP 106-051, 106-051-015, 106-051-014 from RA and VCR to RSR for the purpose of combining and subdividing the parcels per RSR standards.

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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