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Oakwood concerned this bill might be revived in 2020 legislature
Oakwood City Hall.jpg

Oakwood really doesn’t want a law limiting local governments’ abilities to regulate design standards for homes.

The City Council passed a resolution in March opposing House Bill 302, which would have banned governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or regulations relating to building design elements on single-family homes or duplexes.

Anticipating that the bill might rear its head again in the 2020 Georgia General Assembly, which convenes in January, the council voted Monday night to approve a resolution supporting “locally established design standards.”

“Nothing ever completely dies in the General Assembly,” City Manager Stan Brown said in an email before the Oct. 14 meeting.

He added that the Georgia Municipal Association “expects this to resurface.”

Kelli Bennett, Georgia Municipal Association spokeswoman, said the bill “did not make it through the process in the past session but is still able to pass during the 2020 session.”

A House study committee on workforce housing “was created to examine barriers to housing,” she said. “Design standards is one element that was identified as a burden to development. 

Special interests groups comprising homebuilders, Realtors and others “will be advocating for the passage” of the bill next session, Bennett said.

“Cities and county officials are passing resolutions in support of maintaining home rule and local control over establishing design standards that are unique throughout the state,” she said.

That certainly was the case in the spring.

Oakwood joined a chorus of government opponents statewide when it passed the earlier resolution.

At the time, the bill didn’t make the legislature’s Crossover Day, the deadline for bills to pass in one chamber and be sent to the other chamber.

Still, “we felt like it’s good to go ahead and express your desires about this bill,” Brown said. “A bill may not make crossover, but this language could potentially show up in another bill.”

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