Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Milton approves new sewer on Hopewell property.

Courtesy Carolyn Apperson; The Milton Herald

Council votes 6-1 for new homes

August 12, 2013

MILTON, Ga. -- Six City Council members voted Aug. 5 to approve an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement with the county to add sewer service to nine acres of lane located at 13175 Hopewell Rd.

Council member Burt Hewitt was the sole council member to vote against the amendment.

At the July 15 meeting City Council meeting council members unanimously approved the rezoning of the property from AG-1 to R-3 for the development of 11 single family homes. Because of Milton's zoning laws, however, an amendment was necessary.

Milton zoning laws require anything on an acre zoned AG-1 to use a septic tank. Because the Hopewell Road property is surrounded on all sides by a sewage system supplied by Fulton County, council voted to approve the rezoning.

"The property actually has a sewer pipe underneath it that connects properties on either side of it," Milton Communication Manager, Jason Wright said.

"Our zoning laws and [Fulton County's] sewer service delivery map are two separate documents," he said. "Instead of drafting a separate agreement with the county to allow the sewer, approving the rezoning was a much cleaner process."

The rezoning was approved with one modification.

"The modification changed the process by which these amendments to the service delivery map could be adopted," Wright said.

Previously, Milton's City Council had to adopt them, and then Fulton's Board of Commissioners would adopt them as well. With the modification, the issue is put to rest when Milton votes with no need to go back to Fulton County.

Wright said Fulton County's attorney asked for this option based on the fact that the Board of Commissioners said they would approve any changes Milton wanted.

He also said the City Council felt the conditions warranted a change to the delivery strategy brokered between the city and county.

Council member Burt Hewitt said in the council meeting that he wasn't opposed to the property being added, just that he didn't support the unilateral action of Milton without Fulton's oversight.

"On this parcel, I was not opposed to the sewer issue because there was a main running through the property," Hewitt said. "I am opposed to Milton having full authority to grant the potential sewer connection. I would rather this issue have more steps than less to achieve. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for less government, but not in this case.

"The majority of council passed a sewer map a few years ago. I was comfortable with that map for the most part. What I am opposed to is the potential of adding parcels one at a time. I feel this is going against what we said wouldn't happen at the time of the ratification of the map. Going forward, I will most likely vote 'no' for adding parcels to the map, unless there are special circumstances, as with the parcel on Monday."

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