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Avondale Estates City Commission adopts sanitation ordinance and opposes state legislation

Avondale Estates Business

Avondale Estates City Commission adopts sanitation ordinance and opposes state legislation

City Manager Patrick Bryant, Mayor Jonathan Elmore and Commissioners Brian Fisher, Lisa Shortell, Dee Merriam and Lionel Laratte met on Feb. 24 to discuss the revised sanitation ordinance and current state legislation. Photo by Zoe Seiler
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By Zoe Seiler, contributor

Avondale Estates, GA – The Avondale Estates City Commission approved a revised sanitation ordinance at its Feb. 24 meeting. The commission changed the regulations and payment structure for commercial entities.

The revision includes setting a new fee structure. Every property in the city will be assigned to one of two categories: residential or commercial.

Residential properties, including single-family homes, apartments and condominiums, will be charged a fee of $508. The fee also accounts for the cost of recycling.

Commercial properties, or businesses, will pay a base fee of $895 plus $190 for each additional container needed. The goal of the revision is to make sanitation fees for businesses more equitable by assessing the fee on a usage or per can basis, the ordinance says.

City Manager Patrick Bryant said the city is ready to move forward with the changes and has already begun the process of educating residents and business owners on how the changes will impact them in the coming year.

“We’ve not only notified folks via written letter but invited persons receiving that letter to call us if they had any questions,” Bryant said. “We’ve been handling those phone calls as they’ve come in and we feel like everything’s going to transition smoothly.”

The City Commission also adopted two resolutions opposing current state legislation regarding design standards and short-term rentals.

One resolution opposes HB 302, SB 172 and HB 937. Each of these bills would prohibit cities from establishing building design elements for single and double-family homes.

HB 302 and SB 172 define “building design elements” as:

– Exterior building color;

– Type or style of exterior cladding material;

– Style or materials of roof structures or porches;

– Exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation;

– Location or architectural styling of windows and doors, including garage doors;

– The number and types of rooms;

– The interior layout of rooms; and

– Types of foundation structures approved under state minimum standard codes.

HB 937 would not allow local governments to regulate the building product, material or construction practice of construction, renovation, repair or other alteration of a single-family dwelling.

The City Commission also opposed HB 523 which would preempt local elected leaders from establishing oversight of short-term rental properties like AirBnB lodging.

Commissioner Lisa Shortell said that the board is adopting these resolutions along with other city councils and in partnership with Georgia Municipal Association.

“Basically, [the bills are] affecting home rule, our ability to regulate certain things that happen within our city boundaries,” Shortell said.

The city is holding meetings this week that the public is invited to attend. There is a zoning rewrite workshop at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at City Hall. Commissioner Dee Merriam said this meeting is part of a continuing series and will start to address what’s going on in the residential areas. There will also be an overview of the historic preservation guidelines rewrite.

Additionally, the first park planning public workshop for the Town Green Park project will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Lost Druid, 2866 Washington Street. Residents will be able to offer input and help determine the priorities for the park that will be located along Highway 278/ North Avondale Road.

The City Commission will meet again at 5:30 p.m. on March 25 at City Hall, 21 North Avondale Plaza, for the regular work session.

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