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Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 1:10PM

Hall County Commission readies for back-to-back-to-back voting sessions

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter

GAINESVILLE – The Hall County Board of Commissioners held its final work session Monday afternoon in preparation for a trio of voting sessions that will take place later this week, all within a 26-hour period.

COVID-19 has necessitated the tabling and rescheduling of numerous agenda items over the past month and that has created a backlog of thirteen applications awaiting the commissioners’ decision.  Commissioners say they cannot wait any longer to decide those applications.

That backlog will likely keep Hall County Marshals busy at the entrance door of the Hall County Government Center both Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.  For nearly three weeks the only way for the general public to access the Government Center on Browns Bridge Road is with an appointment, and the Marshals have been stationed at the main entrance verifying those appointments and keeping the flow of people within COVID-19 guidelines.

But beginning Wednesday afternoon that situation will likely become more of a challenge as the first of those three voting sessions convenes.  Under state law those voting sessions must provide an opportunity for public comment, and for that no appointment is required. 

So in order to minimize the number of people in the common areas of the Hall County Government Center at any one time a plan was launched to separate the thirteen applications by holding three voting sessions instead of the usual single voting session.

Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said when the unconventional plan was first considered, “Each of these land-use items are going to bring a significant number of people into this room.  We could have well over 150, maybe 200 people based on some of these land-use items.”

Connell would add, “It’s not so much this room here because we can spread them out.  It’s when they get out by the elevator corridor, and it’s just human nature for people to huddle up and talk, and we lose control of being able to separate folks.”

Hall County Director of Planning and Development, Sarah McQuade, has been busy working out the details of how the thirteen land use applications might receive the mandated public comment opportunities without jeopardizing the welfare and health of those in attendance, including Hall County employees.

McQuade has divided the thirteen applications scheduled for hearing among voting sessions scheduled for Wednesday, January 27, at 4 and 6 p.m. and Thursday, January 28, at 6 p.m.  She and her staff have tried to divide the applications expected to draw the greatest interest evenly among the three sessions to avoid any one session being over-crowded.

(McQuade’s schedule of hearings is at the bottom of this page.)

McQuade says she is confident in the plan that’s been put in place by the county.  “We’re going to be utilizing two of our (meeting) rooms also on this floor as staging rooms,” McQuade said after Monday’s county commission work session.

“So that as the public gets here they can come and stage in a room where the meeting will be broadcast, and then when their agenda item comes up they will be transitioned in this (Commission) room,” she explained.

“We’ll also be streaming it online at our website and people can join the ‘GoToMeeting’ option there and speak virtually, as well,” McQuade said. 

As to those planning to speak in person, McQuade advises to check the schedule below and upon arriving at the main entrance, “Just let the Marshals know that they are here for the public hearing and what agenda item they are here for.”

Date:

Time:

Applicant:

Request:

Commission District:

January 27

4:00pm

Second Reading – Delete Section

Amendment

1, 2, 3, 4

January 27

4:05pm

Second Reading – Tattoo Spec. Use

Amendment

1, 2, 3, 4

January 27

4:15pm

Gerardo Vargas

Special Use

4

January 27

4:35 pm

Nathan Rhodes

Rezoning

3

January 27

4:45pm

Jim & Deatra Bureua

Rezoning

2

January 27

5:05pm

Candelaria Chicas

Rezoning

4

January 27

5:20pm

Aspen Holdings Atlanta, LLC

Rezoning

1

January 27

5:40pm

Greg Loyd

Rezoning

4

January 27

6:00pm

New Holland Parlor

Rezoning

4

January 28

6:00pm

Ridgeline Land Planning, Inc.

Rezoning

1

January 28

7:05pm

Mallory and Evans*

Rezoning

2

January 28

7:30pm

Soulshine*

Special Use

2

January 28

7:55pm

Adopt Zoning Map

Resolution    

1,2,3,4

 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: hall county commission, Hall County Government Center
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