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City Passes Moratorium on Group Homes During Council Meeting

If you were not at the Snellville City Council work session and regular meeting, here is a quick wrap-up story. More details will be provided in follow-up stories.

Snellville City Council met on Sept. 24 for its second regular council meeting of the month.

Here are some of the highlights.

---The evening began with a moment of silence and prayer for Jon Ross Snell, who is recovering at Egleston after an injury during football practice at George Walton Academy.

---Marcy Pharris gave a report on the Board of Appeals. The board approved awnings on the side of Panera facing Scenic Highway.

---Evermore CID director Jim Brooks discussed the improvements the Community Improvement District (CID) has made on Highway 78, including Burlington Coat Factory. He noted that there are fewer and fewer vacant properties along that corridor. The CID is moving forward on projects that will improve the Highway 78 corridor, which Snellville Patch will report on later.

---For the final committee report, Kelly McAloon reported on the latest Snellville Tourism and Trade (STAT) meeting. She reminded the audience and council that STAT is looking for new board members and that the Around the World Comes to Snellville is coming up this Saturday.

There will be a 40-foot dragon boat on display at the park, entertainment, including Irish Dancing and drums, and activities.

McAloon also reported that Barbara Bender has filled the position of vice president on the STAT board.

---The council unanimously approved a motion for relief from various sections of the Snellville Zoning Ordinance and Development Regulations for the Family Tree Garden Center. The planning commission recommended the relief from the ordinances because if they complied, they would basically have to rebuild from the ground up.

Owner Dana Pike-Van Vlake thanked the council, saying she was grateful and blessed to be in the city of Snellville.

---The council received public input concerning the Urban Redevelopment Plan. Concerns were brought about redevelopment on Lenora Church Road, with one resident saying she hoped the residential area would remain that way.

The second area of concern was designating certain areas of town "slum" areas. An area cannot be an urban redevelopment area of focus unless it has been designated as such, according to Georgia law.

The council approved the Urban Redevelopment Plan with conditions and certain aspects of the zone four area to be eliminated from the plan, as reviewed by council. (More on that later as well.)

---The council unanimously approved the purchase of a new 911 console for the Communications Center.

---The council unanimously approved the memo of understanding contingent upon the Urban Redevelopment Authority's approval of expending the funds for Opportunity Zones.

---The council unanimously approved passed a group home moratorium. The  city will no longer accept applications or issue permits for assisted living facilities, community living arrangements, personal care homes, and group homes in the City of Snellville. (Click here for a detailed explanation of what led up to this.)

The moratorium is effective immediately and will last through March 31, 2013, as council reviews zoning laws.

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