Posted: Thursday, July 12th 2012 at 9:57pm
Commission turns thumbs down on dog kennel
By Jerry Gunn Staff
GAINESVILLE - After two meeting delays, the request from homeowner Debra Hunsuker to build a dog kennel on her Northeast Hall County property got a 4-1 denial from county commissioners Thursday night.
Hunsucker's neighbors lined up against it, presented a signed petition, and brought in Gainesville attorney D. A. Bagwell to argue that covenants barred a commercial kennel and rezoning for it was inappropriate.
Hunsucker said she just wanted to save her house from foreclosure following her husband's death, and was surprised at all the opposition.
“It’s a good neighborhood and when I started this I had no idea there would be any opposition,” Hunsucker said.
She added that neighbors who indicated support for her dog kennel venture were the same ones who later signed the petition against it.
Hunsucker’s attorney Chris Elrod listed seven conditions aimed at appeasing the neighbors that included a smaller kennel and a limited number of only small and medium sized dogs on the six acre property on Henson Road at Fields Road.
“She also agreed there would be no boarding of animals and would be willing to use bark control collars that were brought up before,” Elrod said.
Conditions also included barring the kennel from becoming transferable to any future owner or occupant of the property.
“It’s not in a subdivision or an urban area and we believe it fits with the agricultural area of the properties out in that area and it would be appropriate to grant the rezoning,” Elrod added, also saying the kennel fits in with the character of the community and would not devalue anyone’s property.
Residents continued to argue that the kennel would disrupt the neighborhood with unwanted noise and they still feared it would threaten property values.
A LAKE SAFETY PANEL
Hall County's Fire Service Marine Rescue Team and Sheriff's Dive Team were recognized for their recent search and recovery efforts on Lake Lanier at the beginning of Thursday night’s meeting and Commission Chairman Tom Oliver called for commissioners to authorize a special panel aimed at making the lake a safer place.
“It would establish a panel of safety professionals, lake stakeholders, Lake Lanier Islands, and the DNR, (Department of Natural Resources),” Oliver said.
Oliver and Commissioner Craig Lutz chair and co-chair the panel.
Oliver's motion got unanimous approval. Commissioners have already called for stricter Boating under the Influence penalties on Lake Lanier.
OPPORTUNITY GATEWAY GETS APPROVED
Commissioners approved a previously tabled a county wide Gainesville/Hall County Opportunity Gateways Urban Redevelopment Plan.
Commissioner Billy Powell said the plan could have huge impact because it encourages companies to locate in opportunity zones the plan creates.
“The company will benefit by receiving a $3,500 tax credit per job for five years,” Powell said.
The plan's exact start-up is uncertain; it is aimed at improving underdeveloped sections of Gainesville and Hall County.
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