New city begins discussing zoning ordinances

Mon, 08/06/2007 - 9:13am
By: Ben Nelms

Starting up a new city involves a lot more than just taking a vote or electing a new mayor and council. Such is the case with the new City of Chattahoochee Hill Country, where city ordinances and a host of other municipal functions must be in place when the city begins operations Dec. 1. Stakeholders met Wednesday at Rico Cultural Center to begin a conversation designed to address the unique planning and zoning apsects of the new city.

The focus group was led by Chatt Hills Organizing Committee President Tom Reed, who proposed a generalized conversation on the mechanics of the process for creating city codes for zoning, planning and conservation processes. Some of the zoning components the group decided to address for potential refinement prior to beginning city operations on Dec. 1 are Transfer of Development Rights (TDR), villages and hamlets and other conservation isues. Interested parties will meet again to develop a plan for further defining the zoning issues to be addressed and determine an appropriate methodology to accomplish those goals.

As with any city and depending on specific needs, a host of ordinances and procedures must be in place to address issues ranging from zoning to noise abatement and stormwater runoff and garbage collection. The group of a dozen stakeholders, including members of the organizing committee, area residents, business representatives and those from the municipal services division of CH2MHill felt the city codes used by Milton, and having been recently refined based on those from Fulton County, would be generally acceptable. The exception to that stance involved the code areas pertinent to planning and zoning, the group said, since the long-held vision for development in Chatt Hills is specifically unique to any other locality in Georgia. The Chatt Hills vision holds that approximately four-fifths of all land within the city limits should remain as greenspace and that development should be clustered into villages and hamlets.

The new mayor and council will be elected in November and will consider the group’s proposals after taking office. Quick work by elected officials will be required since the city will begin municipal operations just three weeks after the election.

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