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Commissioners saved residents from Oakwood

POSTED: February 1, 2012 1:00 a.m.

Thank heaven for the good sense and activism of the Hall County commission who truly make an attempt to represent the residents of Hall County. Anyone who has ever had any dealings with the city of Oakwood knows how devious it is.

Several years ago, our neighborhood, Holiday Heights, was taken hostage through the purchase, annexation and rezoning of a property by an Oakwood city councilman. It was first a business. Then, it was placed up for sale as a commercial property. In the meantime, it has been rented as residential property.

The original appearance of this house once it became a business did no justice to the subdivision, and as a rental property, its continued decline led to a very unsightly appearance at the main entrance to our subdivision.

After the decline of the market, several property owners wanted to also be annexed and zoned office/professional. Our subdivision fight was supported by the Hall County commissioners. It went to an arbitration panel at the state level. The Hall County commission and the residents of Holiday Heights won this battle, and Oakwood could not rezone from Residential 1.

However, since the property owners made the request, Oakwood could annex without the county's permission, only possible because of the prior annexation of the "yellow house."

But this is where Oakwood's deception is revealed. One of the property owners made the request to a business owner to purchase her property to operate a business. Although the property remains residential, the property was purchased once it was annexed. A business is operating in the house.

Holiday Heights would be impacted if the county had allowed Oakwood to annex all this property to the lakefront.

During the time that Oakwood was trying to gain and rezone our subdivision property, they mentioned creating a business/office zone at our entrance.

I applaud the county commission in protecting the rights of the property owners. Oakwood will do as they please with property once they acquire it. Increasing their tax base by adding residential properties and lake homes, would be a major achievement.

But as stated on the Oakwood website, they strive to increase their commercial/industrial tax base. In the fall of 2011, the tax base of the city of Oakwood was 81 percent commercial/industrial. Oakwood will ruthlessly do whatever it takes to move "forward" for the good of the Oakwood government, not its residents or its neighbors whose property is located within the confines of county lines.

Lisa Harris
Oakwood



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