The City of Hoschton agreed Nov. 16 to approve the preliminary plat for Twin Lakes subdivision Phase 4 after several months of controversy and delay.
The city's planning board had recommended denial of the plat and the city council had delayed action in October on the issue, citing questions that needed to be cleared up.
But the issue was also part of the city's ongoing legal battle with Kolter, developers of the Twin Lakes project. Kolter has sued the city over the town's move to institute impact fees on new construction, a move aimed at Kolter's development.
At the council's Nov. 16 meeting, Mayor Shannon Sell said all the issues with the plat had been cleared up, but wanted the approval to come with one stipulation — that Kolter pay the town money he says the firm owes.
"We're doing the surveys and stuff for the (water) tank sites and part of the water and sewer agreement that we had with Kolter development, they were either going to set aside for us a piece of property to put us a water tank on, or pay us 125% of the value of that property so we could purchase the other," Sell said. "I've been trying to get this money out of them since the day I took office and we're not having any luck getting that. This tank is going to be built over there close to them, I mean it's going to help to serve that piece of property. The only thing I would say, if we want to approve this plat, make it contingent on us receiving the check for the payment for the tank. It's not that much money, something like $30,000, but we've been trying to get it for months and we just can't seem to get it paid."
The council agreed to approve the plat for Kolter after the town receives a check for the funds Sell said are owed.
In other business, the Hoschton council approved raising at-home work business license fees from $50 to $115 to match what is charged to retail stores. The council also approved a series of penalties for those who don't pay the fees on time.
The council also approved:
• amending an ordinance about tampering with city water infrastructure or other city infrastructure. Some residents reportedly have cut locks off water meters to turn water service back on after the city had cut them off for nonpayment.
• a quit claim deed for property which had originally been platted for city streets that were never developed. The old plat goes back decades, officials said, and the landowner wants to clear up the plat for possible future development.
• a move to initiate zoning variances needed to plat new water tank sites for the town.
• reducing a 50-foot stream buffer to 25-feet for several tracts of property owned by the city.