Danielsville council members are encouraging city residents to participate in two special projects they are working on this month. The first is a zoning letter sent out to the owners of all parcels on record in the city detailing what the parcel is currently zoned and what, if any, zoning change the city proposes for the property.

Police chief Brenan Baird explained it this way: “There are 462 parcels in the city, and out of those, 100 or so are probably currently being used for things they are not zoned for.”

Mayor Todd Higdon agreed. “We are just trying to update our records and bring those parcels into compliance with the county’s zoning,” he said.

He also said it is an opportunity for those property owners who want to request a different zoning for their property, without paying a rezone fee.

“For example, if someone has a residential property and they want to make it commercial, they can request that now, before Jan. 31, without a rezone fee,” Higdon said.

And he stressed that this process has nothing to do with tax bills.

“It will not affect or inflate your tax bill,” he said.

City clerk Susan Payne said the staff hopes to be able to assess those with zoning request changes in February and be ready for the council to hold a public hearing on the matter in March. The changes will also need the approval of the DCA (Georgia Department of Community Affairs).

The second project is a census survey sent to all residents. The census also has a deadline of Jan. 31.

Payne said the city is using the survey to attempt to get an accurate head count and income average for the city in order to use the information to apply for grants.

Mayor Higdon urged residents to comply and provide the information requested, noting that no one is asking for specific information on such things as income, rather it is an income range.

“We are not being nosy,” Mayor Higdon said. “We are a rural area and we need accurate information to justify the need for federal and state grants…We are trying to help the community by being able to provide other services without tax increases.”

Higdon said the city is at a disadvantage tax-wise due to the large number of parcels that are government or school system-owned, which do not pay property taxes.

In other business, the city took care of some annual housekeeping duties, and approved the 2016 appointments of city clerk Susan Payne, police chief Brenan Baird, maintenance department head Josh Lester, mayor pro-tem Tim Stamps and city court judge Robert Snead.

They tabled the appointment of auditor, city attorney and election superintendent.

They also voted to re-affirm the code of ordinance, as it currently stands.

They postponed a vote on the city cemetery ordinance until the February business meeting and agreed to renew a $250,000 line of credit at First Madison Bank.

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