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Avondale Estates City Commission holding public hearings on millage rate, accessory unit

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Avondale Estates City Commission holding public hearings on millage rate, accessory unit

FILE PHOTO: The Avondale Estates City Commission met on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at City Hall to amend the city manager's contract and donate a piece of right-of-way to GDOT. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will meet on Wednesday, June 28, at 5:30 p.m. for public hearings, a regular meeting, and a work session. The city commission meeting will be held at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, and via Zoom.

To join the meeting via Zoom, click here. To call in, dial +1-301-715-8592. The webinar ID is 811 4894 9908.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

Public comments can be made either by attending the meeting in-person or through Zoom.

The city commission will hold three public hearings on Wednesday night. The first will focus on the millage rate. The city commission has tentatively adopted a rate of 9.8 mills, which is the same rate as the past five years.

The city commission will hold the final public hearing and set the millage rate at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at City Hall. To join the meeting on Thursday via Zoom, click here. To call in, dial +1-301-715-8592. The webinar ID is 857 5339 5460.

“The proposed tax increase [over the rollback rate] for a home with a fair market value of $450,000 is approximately $166.50,” a press release from the city states. “The proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $625,000 is approximately $231.25.”

During the second public hearing, the city commission will take comment on a variance request for an accessory unit at 14 Dartmouth Ave. The homeowners are seeking to demolish an existing detached garage and rebuild a one-story accessory structure that would function as an office, storage space, and additional entertainment space.

The studio would have an upper loft and be in the rear yard of the home. It would be built on the existing foundation of the garage, but the current garage is nonconforming to the city’s zoning code. The garage currently has a side setback of 1.7 feet and the required setback is 12 feet.

“This would have been built before the previous zoning. It did not meet the previous zoning, and it does not meet this zoning code,” Assistant City Manager Shannon Powell previously said. “The applicant is asking to take it down and rebuild and add to the nonconformity. They want to build in the same location but build higher.”

The proposed accessory structure would be about four feet taller. The height would increase from about 12 feet to about 16.5 feet within the nonconforming side yard setback.

“The increase in height is an expansion of a nonconforming structure which is not permitted by the zoning ordinance,” the review from city staff says.

The third public hearing will look at amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance to comply with new procedural rules established by the state Legislature.

“In this previous legislative session, the state passed a new law amending the time necessary to advertise for quasi-judicial variances,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said at the June 14 city commission meeting. “We have two types of quasi-judicial variances that are contained in our code. One is the administrative variance and the other is the waiver process. This legislation mandates that we amend our zoning code to allow for a 30-day advertising period of those requests before deciding upon them.”

During the work session, the commission will discuss the applicants for an open position on the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, as well as a revenue primer presentation.

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