Gainesville City Council unanimously approved amending land development code at a called council meeting Thursday morning.
The change includes reducing public notice and hearing requirements when the city initiates annexing county property to only what state law mandates.
Gainesville has worked for more than six months on a plan to annex 115 “island properties” after overcoming challenges from Hall County commissioners, some of whom have opposed the city annexing property without the property owners’ consent.
“The process would be the same as the one we started late in 2012,” Community Development Director Rusty Ligon said in an email. “We hold a called (Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board) meeting on July 2 in the morning, then hold first reading at (the City) Council that night.”
State law requires a hearing and that a public notice for that hearing be published in a local newspaper at least 15 days beforehand.
The former Gainesville ordinance required the published notice of a public hearing as well as a sign posted at least 15 days before the hearing, which would state the date, time and place of the hearing. Plus, Gainesville’s law required a notice to be mailed to owners of property that touches or is located across the street from the subject property at least 10 days before the hearing.
Other annexation plans in the past that the city has proposed failed to garner support and at times faced some fierce opposition from residents.
The council approved the amendments in the first vote at its June 4 meeting. Ligon said notices will be mailed again to the affected property owners on Monday.