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The Local Agenda: Lula officials try to write zoning laws
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City of Lula staff and City Council members have been looking at areas in Hall County as they put together a new zoning ordinance that's based on the concept of managed use.

A couple of areas they have looked at include Buford and Suwanee.

The approach is to use more factors and look at long-term effects to make sure land use is managed in a sustainable way and especially factors in surrounding land use, said Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin.

The field trips were educational, and Bergin said they are happy with the ordinance they've developed.

"They (the Lula city council) enjoyed it," Bergin said.

"They loved it."

Hall County commissioners have full agenda for Thursday

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will consider whether or not to change the name of Friendship Road, also known as Ga. 347, from Interstate 985 east to Old Winder Highway on Thursday at its board meeting.

The commissioners discussed the issue at their work session Monday when three residents spoke against the proposal. Friendship Road currently runs between I-985 and Spout Springs Road, but as part of a Georgia Department of Transportation project to widen Ga. 347 — which Friendship runs along — it would be extended to Ga. 211. Many residents have opposed the name change, citing the history of the name and the area.

The proposal, initiated by South Hall Commissioner Craig Lutz, calls for that entire stretch to be named Lanier Islands Parkway, which is the name of the rest of Ga. 347 running from I-985 to the Lake Lanier Islands resort.

Commissioners also discussed a proposal to require pawnshops, precious metal dealers and secondhand dealers to electronically record transactions, including taking photographs and fingerprints, requiring dealers to hold on to merchandise for 30 days and making Hall County rules uniform. The city of Gainesville recently put in place similar rules, and representatives from the Hall County Sheriff's Office said Hall County is more attractive to thieves because it doesn't have laws in place to track stolen items.

The work session also discussed an analysis of bidders for the county's solid waste services. The study was done by Steve Egan, an analyst with consulting firm Mercer Group. It is unclear whether the study will be discussed at Thursday's meeting.

County staff said the bidding process is still open, although four finalists have been chosen to give presentations. Hall County is one of the bidders.

The county is also expected to consider some transportation-related items, including signing off on a roundabout on Ga. 347. GDOT is in the design phase of Lanier Islands Parkway from McEver Road to the islands. The proposed location would be where New Bethany Road and Big Creek Road intersects with Ga. 347. Hall County would be responsible for streetlighting and any installed lanscaping. The power cost is estimated at about $200 a month.

Main Street Gainesville introduces new business recruitment tool

Main Street Gainesville officially released its QR code project Monday, posting the code in two vacant buildings on the Gainesville Square.

Smartphones can scan the code, and it will link to an online web page that will have vital information and stats such as: contact information, building size, interior photos, purchase information, architectural details and historical data, said Main Street Manager Regina Mansfield.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: