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Hall approves mixed-use development, disbands Civil Service Board
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The Hall County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a mixed-use development in South Hall near the new Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Braselton, as well as disbanding the Civil Service Board and changing business licensing fees.

The residential component of the development, located at 1929 Friendship Road, includes 139 assisted living and independent living units on close to six acres.

It would include dining areas, administrative offices, activity rooms, storage facilities and parking.

The commercial component includes up to 10,000 square feet of retail and office space on about three acres.

Medical offices, a pharmacy, bank, restaurants and a retail center with gift shops, dry cleaners and a liquor store are possible.

The developer is Friendship Road Development, LLC.

Meanwhile, commissioners took a final vote to disband the Civil Service Board, which hears and decides disciplinary appeals brought by terminated or demoted employees, in favor of a single administrative hearing officer.

The unilateral move comes after state lawmakers declined to take up the matter over the last two years.

The Civil Service Board was created in 1968 by constitutional amendment, and its members serve four-year terms.

Four of the members are appointed by the commission, two are chosen by a majority of government employees and one by other elected officials in the county, including the sheriff, judges, clerk of Superior Court and tax commissioner.

County officials, citing their belief that the board had become politicized and inefficient, invoked a “Home Rule” provision to replace the board with a hearing officer, who must be a qualified attorney practicing for at least five years and in good standing with the state bar.

Finally, officials approved changes to the fee schedule for business licenses, which will both simplify the rate structure and slightly increase costs.

Hall County bases its rates on a tiered system that accounts for the number of employees a business has. More workers equal higher costs for an occupational license.

Though the number of rate levels will be reduced from 18 to six, fees will rise by about 10 percent overall.

There are more than 3,100 businesses licensed by the county. The total revenue for licensing fees in 2014 was $757,515.

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