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The Local Agenda: Council to vote on rezoning, alcohol ordinance tonight
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The Gainesville City Council will vote tonight on a proposal to build a drive-thru restaurant and small retail outlet at the intersection of Thompson Bridge Road and Virginia Circle.

While recent changes to the proposal include additional landscaping buffers, and allow for entrance-only access off Virginia Circle, city planning staff still recommended denying the rezoning request out of concerns it is “inconsistent” with the city’s comprehensive plan and future development map.

The planning and appeals board has twice recommended denial.

At a work session last week, council members expressed concern the recent changes remain incompatible with the adjacent residential neighborhood.

In other business, City Council will vote on several proposed changes to Gainesville’s alcohol ordinance, which are meant to promote new businesses and mirror state regulations.

Proposed changes include lowering seating requirements at restaurants; allowing for a monetary fine in place of a suspension of an alcohol license for ordinance violations; expanding taste tests at local farm wineries and growlers; and allowing nonrestaurant retail service businesses, such as a nail salon, to obtain on-site consumption licenses.

City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. tonight in the municipal courtroom of the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.

Hall County work session date changed to Friday

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session at 11 a.m. this Friday.

The meeting was moved up from next week as county commissioners will be at the state Capitol on Monday and Feb. 10 for various training and classes.

The regular voting meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 12.

The Friday work session will be held at the Hall County Government Center, 2975 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

Hall County GOP precinct meetings this Saturday

The Hall County Republican Party will hold its precinct mass meetings this Saturday to elect delegates to the local GOP convention in March.

Registered voters are asked to participate, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. at the Republican Party’s headquarters, 715 Queen City Parkway in Gainesville.

The Hall GOP’s convention will begin at 10 a.m. March 14 at the same location.

Meanwhile, the Ninth Congressional District Convention will be held at 10 a.m. April 18 at the Jefferson Civic Center. Members will be elected to the state committee of the Georgia Republican Party.

Finally, the Republicans’ state party convention will be held at 2 p.m. May 15 in Athens.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: