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Sunday August 18th, 2019 1:17AM

Oakwood City leaders oppose HB 302, approve capital improvement plan

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Oakwood City Council voted unanimously to approve two resolutions, one regarding the now-dead House Bill 302 and the other on capital improvement. 

House Bill 302 did not make it through crossover day. It focused on the local control of building design standards. City Manager Stan Brown said they resolved to oppose it just in case. 

"We think with any bill like this, particularly since this is the first year of a two year cycle on bills, this likely will be considered again next year. There's also the possibility the language could be attached to another bill that would be moving forward," said Brown after the meeting. "So we just want to make sure that our local delegation understands our concern with that bill and that we think it's important to exercise to home rule and let cities and their citizens make those determinations."

House Bill 302 was also opposed by neighboring city Flowery Branch.

Another resolution included the five year plan for the city's capital improvement. The resolution adopted the funding and then would allow Council to change the budget. 

The council also discussed a matter of signage for a local church, St. Gabriel Episcopal, after members from the church came to the meeting and asked for help with their signage. The representative of the church stated they wanted to place directional signs, including in a Department of Transportation right of way. The church's sign application through the city had been denied and they felt the cost of the Wayfinding sign program was not feasible to them.

Brown said in the meeting many of the signs seen out and about in right of ways are not placed there legally, and they can't give permission for a sign to be placed on DOT property. The church representative, city staff and the council discussed some of the signage regulations in the city before the council decided to tackle the matter at a later time.

"I'm going to be honest with you, I appreciate everything, but from my consensus is we will not be making a decision tonight. We'll take the information you're presenting to us, take the information that (city attorney) Donnie (Hunt) gives us and Stan (Brown) is presenting to us in a work session and discuss those issues and see if we can come up with a resolution," said Council Member Todd Wilson in the meeting. 

After the meeting, Brown said, "our city attorney and staff will discuss some options on how maybe we can accommodate signage for churches, try to do it in a uniform way throughout town, so we have a good look out there but not violate any codes or statements."

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