Plans are underway for a new city hall in Hoschton, an issue that was first discussed last year.
Hoschton leaders said that “Hosch Hall” will be located on the lot adjacent to the current city hall and built to resemble three separate distinct storefronts that blend with the 1880s appearance of Hoschton.
The facility is slated to be a pre-engineered steel structure with 10-foot ceilings and may incorporate a banquet space and coffee shop.
The council approved two downtown rezoning requests following hearings at its work session Feb. 15.
After months of discussion, the council approved removing the Hwy. 53 Corridor Overlay District in its entirety from the city’s official zoning map.
In its place, an amended ordinance provides requirements, design regulations and a series of other guidelines that promote office, commercial and institutional development.
According to city planner Jerry Weitz, the guidelines are not mandatory and cannot be grounds for denying applications for non-compliance. This innovative approach, according to Wetiz, is “a lot more business friendly than what we had before.”
Weitz and the town’s planning commission will also create a city historic preservation commission in the next couple of years in order to maintain the town’s historic nature. That was the intent of the prior downtown overlay district, he said.
In other zoning action, the council approved a rezoning for .9 acres at 315 White St. from R-1 to office residential district. The approval is subject to two conditions, per the planning commission's recommendation, involving drainage and stormwater management and right of way dedication or easement along the entire property frontage of White St.
Hoschton will be changing its water billing and meter reading procedures in the next few months.
Plans to move to a split billing system are being implemented.
Officials said existing customers shouldn’t notice a change in their water bills, but newer residents in the Twin Lakes and Cresswind areas will likely see changes.
In other business, the Hoschton council approved:
• the 2021 Events Schedule, featuring Jam in the Park Spring Festival, Bubble Fun Day, Fall Festival, Breakfast with Santa and more. Additional events may be added to the calendar as the city’s budget, COVID and weather permits.
•mayor Pro-Tem Adam Ledbetter's appointment of the following people to join the 2021 Hoschton Ethics Committee: Mary Adams, Patrick Esco, Dave Glander, Rob Meeks, Mary Morrison and Kelly Winebarger
• adopting the 5-year update of the city’s comprehensive plan.
• sponsorship of the American Street Rodder Car Show. The City Square will be closed for this event every third Saturday from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m., starting in April and ending in October.
• the final plat for Twin Lakes, phase 2B, including 25 lots on 13.265 acres fronting on Michigan Circle and Clearwater Court.
• an agreement between the City of Hoschton and the Georgia Municipal Association. The city will provide regulation and oversight of cable television and telecommunications services provided to its citizens through GMA’s right of way management program.
• the city clerk’s office to conduct qualifying Aug. 16-18 for the 2021 Municipal Election.
• a $1 million Line of Credit (LOC) with Pinnacle Bank to be used at the discretion of the Mayor and Council in the event of time-sensitive procurement of services, equipment or real estate acquisition. Funds will be secured by a certificate of deposit owned by the city and held by Pinnacle Bank with no loan fees, an interest rate of 3% and a maturity date of July 2, 2021, with a renewal in July 2021.
• the acquisition of land and easements for the construction of a new sewer system in the Panther Court area, which will relieve users of the new system from maintenance fees associated with the old system.
• the donation of a tract of land for the town’s new water tank.