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Rest Haven remains a city, as Senate bill falls away in session
Buford still planning to annex much of city
A bill to annex much of Rest Haven into Buford didn't get a vote in the House at the Georgia General Assembly last week before the session ended.

Rest Haven still has a spot on the map, but neighboring Buford could start taking an eraser to that later in the year.

A bill in the state legislature that would have enabled Buford to take in most of what remains of Rest Haven didn’t go to the House for a vote before the General Assembly adjourned Thursday.

However, several Rest Haven residents — only a few dozen remain — are lining up to be annexed by Buford, which already handles zoning, permitting and code enforcement for the town on the Hall-Gwinnett border, said Phillip Beard, Buford Board of Commissioners chairman.

“We’ll take several of them in before the end of the year and … we’ll deal with (the rest) next year,” Beard said.

Buford, which also is in Gwinnett and Hall counties, incorporated part of Rest Haven in a previous session, so the plan was to swallow up more of the town this year.

A bill, introduced by state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, would have allowed most of Rest Haven to become part of Buford. The bill didn’t mention Rest Haven by name but in technical language explained Buford’s border expansion, citing parcel and tax map numbers.

The plan, Beard has said, would have been — after the General Assembly’s passage of the bill — to take in the rest through annexations and further legislation as needed.

“I’m disappointed in the system failing,” he said Monday. “The legislature is just like the one in Washington — it’s just about to become nonfunctional.”

Rest Haven, incorporated in the 1930s, is made up mostly of used car lots and landscaping businesses lining its main stretch, Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13.

A few homes are scattered off side streets, and there are remnants of a town’s existence — including an old shotgun-style cinder-block building that once served as city hall.

Other than Buford moving in, the biggest change coming to the area is the $10 million widening of Ga. 13 between Sawnee Avenue in Gwinnett and Lanier Islands Parkway/Ga. 347 in Hall.

Construction could begin later this year on the 1.3-mile project, Georgia Department of Transportation officials have said.

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