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Alpine coaster gets Helens OK, could open later this year
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Development of a proposed “alpine coaster” can move forward now that the Helen City Commission has given its approval.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to OK rezoning property at 8409 S. Main St. to commercial from residential, allowing for the amusement ride.

The applicant, Terry Sims, owner of Cool River Tubing in Helen, has said the ride would involve single cars on tracks traveling at speeds dictated by the riders — unlike a roller coaster.

The ride’s appeal, he has said, is the opportunity to enjoy a natural view.

Commissioners set conditions on the ride, including that hours must be limited to between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. and that trees must be planted between the development and existing homes.

The property is near City Hall and just east of the dense downtown development around the Chattahoochee River.

Sims has said that if he got the city’s approval, the coaster could open in the fall or winter.