City begins process of amending zoning ordinances


DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Dahlonega’s City Council unanimously approved a motion to initiate the process of amending the city’s zoning ordinances Monday.

City Manager Bill Schmid explained that many, perhaps dozens, of the changes will involve minor changes in text, such as typos, while others may be significant. “Either way,” Schmid said, “there is a process to be followed.”
Rather than bring a laundry list of amendments to council, Schmid added that staff would prefer to bring them to council incrementally.

The motion council approved Monday does not short change the process. “It doesn’t commit you to any specific outcome,” Schmid said. “It will just let us begin the advertisement. There will still be a public hearing before the Planning Commission before it comes back to you in a work session.”

After the work session, council will still have the final vote on any proposed amendment.

Schmid said staff also has identified a couple of types of event centers the city has, or would like to have. Staff would need to propose definitions to accommodate changes to those zoning ordinances.

The University of North Georgia women’s basketball team won the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championships.

Monday was a day to recognize athletic excellence at the University of North Georgia. Mayor Sam Norton read a proclamation honoring the 2017-18 University of North Georgia women’s basketball team for an outstanding season. The Nighthawks posted a 29-5 record in winning the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Championship and the Peach Belt Tournament Championship before advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Coach Buffie Burson was named PBC Coach of the Year for the third time in her 24-year career. Abbie Franklin was chosen conference Freshman of the Year and Julie McKie was named PBC Tournament Most Valuable Player.

Schmid said the city has applied for the Georgia Recreational Trails Program grant offered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the amount of $135,000. The grant requires a 20 percent city match. The grant would be used for the Yahoola High Trestle Trail. If the city receives the grant, Schmid said the project can be completed within two years

Council unanimously approved:

  • A 5K Bike Ride event and Hancock Park rental Team Give Back Fundraiser;
  • A change to the existing special event permit for Movies Under the Stars concessions;
  • A grant to renovate the Visitor’s Center restrooms; and
  • Ratification of the Cemetery Committee appointments.


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County Agrees to Service Delivery Strategy With City


DAHLONEGA, Ga.– Cumming Attorney Dana Miles addressed the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to commend county and city officials for reaching an amicable accord on the Service Delivery Strategy Agreement (SDSA).

Miles was the neutral intermediary who facilitated the meetings between Chairman Chris Dockery and City Manager Bill Schmid that led to the agreement. Dockery was expected to sign the final agreement Wednesday.

Under the SDSA, the city will pay the county the sum of $50,000 annually for the capital acquisition costs of a ladder truck and supplementary fire services provided by the county to the incorporated area of the city.

The city also will pay the county $8,000 annually for supplemental law enforcement expenses incurred by the county by virtue of the city’s use of off-duty deputies from the Sheriffs Office. That payment shall be in addition to the direct payments by the city to the deputies. The city will provide liability insurance coverage for those deputies assigned to city duties. The city and sheriff may agree in writing to additional supplemental law enforcement services during the term of the agreement with the consent of the county.

The SDSA also calls for the city to pay the county from amounts collected by the City’s Municipal Court the l0 percent court add-on fee designated by state statute for “jail construction and staffing.”

Commissioners also agreed to submit a request for a third extension of the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) first applied for in order to secure funding necessary to make certain waterline improvements.

The grant period was scheduled for Sept. 5, 2014 and was to have concluded on Sept 5, 2016.

In August 2016, the county asked for and received a 90 day extension from the Department of Community Affairs to ensure sufficient time to close the grant. In November 2016, the County submitted a second request to DCA to extend the grant period by thirty days in order to draw the remaining funds available in the project budget. DCA approved that one also. This extension request is  for 60 days.

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