Community Planning Committee
June '08 Update on the Georgia Township Act
In November of 2007 the Board gave the Community Planning Committee the green light to pursue passage of the Georgia Township Act on behalf of SNCA. Our assignment was (1) to find out more about the bill, (2) to try to get Township qualifications liberalized so that rural communities like ours could become a Township, and (3) to educate the community about the pros and cons of Townships vs. municipalities vs. historic districts. With the help of well-respectected lobbyist Robb Willis, president of the Public Affairs Group for the Atlanta-based global law firm Troutman Sanders, and SNCA Board member Liza Purcell we were successful in getting the “density requirement” language of the Township Act changed so that zip code 30571 would have qualified if the bill had passed. Unfortunately the bill did not make it out of the House Rules Committee for a vote this last session. Robb and Liza have agreed to assist the committee in the coming year and will start work shortly to begin laying the foundation for passage of the bill during the 2009 legislative session.
We’ve learned a lot about the process and will start now to craft a “Township” bill that will be applicable to rural as well as urban areas and address questions and concerns regarding the Act. We already know that we will want to work closely with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia to get their support for our modifications. We also know that we will need to line up a local legislative sponsor for our bill. More importantly, we will need to meet face to face with as many legislators as possible to convince them that this is good legislation that they should support. As we get closer to the 2009 legislative session we may be asking SNCA members to sign up on teams to visit the Capitol to help make our case. Stay tuned for further updates.
April '08 Update on the Georgia Township Act
GTA DID MAKE IT OUT OF RULES COMMITTEE ON THE HOUSE SIDE FOR A VOTE THIS YEAR. BUMMER. BUT WE'VE LEARNED A LOT AND WILL START WORKING ON NEXT YEAR RIGHT NOW. AS SOON AS WE CAN WE'RE GOING TO SCHEDULE A STRATEGY SESSION UP HERE WITH COMMUNITY PLANNING COMMITEEE AND ROB WILLIS (TROUTMAN & SANDERS) TO HEAR HOW HE THINKS WE CAN BE MOST EFFECTIVE. PROBABLY THE BEST THING FOR US IS TO WRITE OUR OWN BILL FOR OUR OWN LITTLE AREA WITH LANGUAGE THAT SUITS US AND THAT GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CAN BE SUPPORTIVE OF, OR AT LEAST BE NEUTRAL ON.
WE WERE SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING THE DENSITY REQUIREMENT (IN BOTH SENATE AND HOUSE VERSIONS) REVISED SO THAT ZIP CODE 30571 WOULD HAVE QUALIFIED IF THE BILL HAD PASSED. BUT THAT'S MOOT NOW IF WE WRITE OUR OWN BILL.
Dec '07 Update on the Georgia Township Act
Planning Committee held town hall meeting on Saturday, November
17, in the old gym for members of the Sautee Nacoochee Community
Association. Forty-eight folks were present and we gave a
PowerPoint presentation outlining the highlights of Senate
bill 89 (as currently written). We then had a 60 minute Q & A
session with lots of questions about qualifications, potential
boundaries and timeframes. The objective of the meeting was
to see if those present were supportive of SNCA taking a
leadership role in (1) finding out more about the bill, (2)
trying to get Township qualifications liberalized so rural
communities like ours could become a Township, (3) and educating
the community about the pros and cons of Townships vs. municipalities
vs. historic districts. Most of those present felt this was
viable activity for the Center to take on.
At the SNCA board meeting on Monday, November 26, we gave
the board an overview of the November 17 meeting and asked
them to sanction SNCA taking the lead in this endeavor. The
board voted unanimously to give this responsibility to the
the Community Planning Committee on behalf of the organization.
We will be meeting soon to develop plans and strategies
to carry out the board's mandate. Our goal is to be as inclusive
and responsive as possible to the people in our community.