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Oakwood gives first OK to film ordinance
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Oakwood City Council gave its first OK Monday night to a film ordinance, which requires crews to get a permit before filming begins. The law doesn’t apply to noncommercial filming, newsgathering or filming that is deemed to be for a public purpose.

Following in Hall County’s footsteps, Oakwood is looking to put in place its own ordinance addressing film and music productions in the South Hall city.

City Council gave its first OK Monday night to the ordinance, which requires crews to get a permit before filming begins. The law doesn’t apply to noncommercial filming, newsgathering or filming that is deemed to be for a public purpose.

Permit fees will be proposed later, but City Manager Stan Brown said he expects they should mirror fees set by Hall County — a $75 application fee and a $100 daily fee.

The final version of Hall’s resolution, as passed in April by the Hall County Board of Commissioners, was drafted with input from both the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office.

“We took a look at that ordinance and made sure that what we were going to bring forth to you tonight is consistent with that,” Brown said.

“We’ve actually had a few clips shot in Oakwood,” he added. “Generally, it’s (someone) driving down Thurmon Tanner Parkway, and we had one (scene shot) in the industrial park.”

Brown said, “What we have found is that it’s important for the county as a whole to have a very consistent way of how we address these issues when we get a (filming) request. So, they don’t have different rules to play by.”

CVB President Stacey Dickson said she was pleased to see Oakwood’s action.

Oakwood “will be the first city in our area to adopt a film process for productions,” she said.

“The fact that they are mirroring the county is also helpful to create a seamless environment for productions, because, as we know, they don't see county/city limit lines when shooting a project — only locations.”

“We would love to see all our cities adopt permitting that is similar to the county's,” Dickson said. “Promoting their new permitting process will help them get on the map with productions in the future.”

Dickson has said Hall’s proximity to both Atlanta and Lake Lanier make it a popular spot for filming. She said her bureau gets “dozens of location requests each year,” but only about 1 in 10 make it to production.

She also confirmed that Oakwood has had several projects over the past couple of years.

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