Development Authority revisits Green-Garrett vote

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Dahlonega City Councilwoman Helen Hardman was asked a tough question during Thursday’s Downtown Development Authority/Main Street Board meeting regarding council’s vote that allowed Roberta-Green Garrett to move forward with demolition of the Parks and Butler buildings to make room for a new hotel.

The 4-2 vote did not sit well with many long time Dahlonega residents and Hardman was asked if she felt the board had caved to pressure from Green-Garrett and her attorney Joey Homans.

Hardman expressed confidence the decision was the right one.

“I didn’t cave,” she said. “I know how much we need hotel rooms. Our visitor expenditure shows we are 10th out of 17 counties in our region. We’ve got a lot of work we need to do. We need help and that is going to help. That is going to increase business. Just having people stay in the hotel and visit the retail shops. We also will get increased corporate business which we need. “We think it’s something we need badly.”

Hardman said it was hard to sit and listen to the criticism council was getting. “But that’s the way it is, I guess. That’s the way politics are. The four of us who voted for it felt we needed to get that behind us so we came up with some strong stipulations that we’re going to make her do a certain way.”

Downtown Development Authority members approved the April financial report and the first reading of the first reading of the fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

 

 

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Council green lights Garrett-Green downtown hotel Parks and Butler buildings to come down

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – After a three-year standoff with Roberta Green-Garrett and her attorney, the Dahlonega City Council approved a consent order Tuesday that will allow her to build a hotel that will replace the old Butler and Parks Buildings in Dahlonega’s historic downtown.

The vote was 4-2 with District 1 Councilman Roman Gaddis and District 4 Councilman Bruce Hoffman opposed.

“People who were against the consent order assumed the council folded but we stopped it dead in its tracks for three years at a lot of time and expense,” Mayor Sam Norton said. “I don’t think either side is particularly satisfied with the agreement but we did the best we could do given the circumstances.”

But as councilwoman JoAnne Taylor stated in last month’s work session, ““We’ve either got to put our thumbprint on this design with Mrs. Green-Garrett, or roll the dice and see what the judge will say,” something most councilmembers were unwilling to risk.

During the public comment period, half a dozen citizens stood up and spoke out forcefully against the project. Ken Akins said, “This is our history, our heritage. This is what we’re all about and we are destroying that.”

The city and Green-Garrett’s attorney Joey Homans engaged in a lengthy mediation period and agreed to several conditions. For example, the premises can only be used as a hotel and must include an exercise facility, a lobby, a small outdoor pool, a breakfast lounge area and parking.

In other business, council unanimously approved a request to rezone 2.97 acres on Torrington Drive from B-1 (business) to R-3 (residential) to allow for the construction of apartment units.

Council denied Lynn Allred’s appeal of a Historic Preservation Commission decision that pertains to the construction of a fence at her Appalachian Gold business.

Council also agreed to move forward with plans to construct a kids play area at Hancock Park.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roberta Green-Garrett hotel focus of called meeting

Business

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Dahlonega City Commission will hold a special called meeting Monday, June 4,  at 5:30 p.m. to consider a mediation agreement of the long-standing hotel issue with Roberta Green-Garrett. A regular commission meeting will follow immediately.

The commission and Green-Garrett’s attorney Joey Homans have engaged in a self-imposed mediation to try and end the three-year saga.

During a recent work session, Councilwoman JoAnne Taylor summed up the situation.

“We’ve either got to put our thumbprint on this design with Mrs. Green-Garrett, or roll the dice and see what the judge will say,” Taylor said.

Mayor Sam Norton agreed. “If we can’t all affirmatively agree on the issue by June 4, this matter will go to the courts,” he said. “Then the court will make us try mediation again.”

Conditions agreed to by Green-Garrett include the premises’ use be limited to a hotel and will include features like an exercise facility, a lobby, a small outdoor pool, a breakfast lounge area and parking.

However, if the council and Green-Garrett resolve the issue outside of the courts, the Butler Building will be demolished, something the Historic Preservation Commission has strongly opposed.

During the regular meeting, council will consider an amendment to the city’s animal ordinance that makes it unlawful for owners of domestic animals to allow — or permit by negligence — their animal to act in a way that causes damage, unsanitary conditions to the property of another, public streets, parks and recreation areas or otherwise cause a nuisance.

The amendment defines nuisance as crawling upon, sleeping on, scratching or otherwise soiling furniture, porches, automobiles or other property of a neighbor or person other than the owner. It also makes is unlawful for domestic animals to feed from, turn over, or otherwise disturb garbage containers and scratch or dig in lawns, yards or flower beds, or to soil or damage any property other than that of the owners.

The Commission will also consider approval of bylaws for the city of Dahlonega Cemetery Committee that will include the establishment of the committee, defining its purpose and authority, setting goals and a method of selecting members and scheduling meeting dates.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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HPC Hearing Adjourned Due to Lack of Quorum

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – A standing-room-only crowd gathered at Dahlonega’s City Hall Monday for a public hearing hosted by the town’s Historic Preservation Commission. The issue: Roberta Green-Garrett’s two-year battle to replace two historic buildings on Main Street with a four-story, 70-room hotel.

Green-Garrett was hoping to receive a Certificate of Approval (COA) in order to move forward with her plans. The majority of the people who elbowed their way into the meeting room hoped to prevent that. Both sides left dissatisfied as the meeting had to be adjourned 10 minutes after it started.

One member of the seven-member committee had resigned earlier in the year and two others were absent. With only four members in attendance, the HPC barely had a quorum. But shortly after the chairman gaveled the meeting to order, Mary Owens announced that she was recusing herself because her husband, a real estate agent, had a business relationship with Garrett-Green.

Two owners of Dahlonega gold mine once occupied the Parks Building in Dahlonega

Her recusal left the HPC short of a quorum and the meeting had to be adjourned with no announcement of when the next meeting would be scheduled.

Townspeople strongly opposed the hotel almost from the beginning. The Parks Building Green-Garrett would have demolished is an antebellum-era structure built in 1855 that once housed the Confederate Army and later was home to two owners of the Dahlonega gold mine. The Butler Building next door is also historically significant and Green-Garrett’s plans call for it to be replaced also.

The original design in 2015 called for a 30-room hotel to replace the Parks Building. But the concept Green-Garrett would like approved now calls for 70-plus rooms with two stories of rooms over two stories of parking, which would exceed the district’s height limit.

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Applicant Withdraws Permit for Controversial Sign

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — City of Dahlonega Zoning Administrator Patricia Head confirmed Tuesday that Roberta Green-Garrett has withdrawn the permit for a controversial sign that hung above property she owns at 24 East Main Street.

The 4-foot by 6-foot sign that read “Historic Ku Klux Klan Meeting Place” sparked angry protests from local citizens, business owners and students and was quickly removed because Green-Garret did not have a permit at the time.

After the sign was removed, Green-Garrett did apply for a permit and apparently planned to put the sign back up but dozens of people, many of them students at the University of North Georgia, began to organize a boycott of businesses she owns and, on Friday, the city received word that she was withdrawing her request for a permit.

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