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Tucker plans to adopt leash law, rezone Lawrenceville Highway corridor

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Tucker plans to adopt leash law, rezone Lawrenceville Highway corridor

FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: Gracie plays in the cooling pool during ‘Paws in the Park’ at Henderson Park Dog Park in Tucker on Saturday, Aug. 28. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — The Tucker City Council conducted a first read and public hearing for a leash law for the city at its regular meeting on Sept. 11. The new law will require, among other things, for animals to be restrained to the owner’s property and controlled by a leash when not at home or in a designated off-leash area.

The law will not exclude cats, although the enforcement section says that healthy free-roaming cats will not be impounded unless they are causing damage or unsanitary conditions. Dogs, cats, and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies and registered with DeKalb County.

The law also prohibits keeping “hazardous” animals as pets, including venomous snakes and spiders, alligators, and constrictors longer than 10 feet, among others.

Since incorporation, Tucker has relied upon DeKalb County for animal control and will continue to do so.

The city council also approved an ordinance to create a special zoning district for portions of Lawrenceville Highway. The proposed zoning will have low-, medium-, and high-density housing areas, including adaptive reuse and mixed-use areas. A light industrial section is intended to accommodate existing businesses and future business development.

While the wording will be adopted immediately, the new zoning will not go into effect until the council approves rezoning in November. A public hearing process will allow revision of the proposed zoning before it is formally adopted.

Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner cautioned that the new zoning must include higher density zones, and encouraged people to look at a recent housing study done for the city.

“If you want affordability, you need higher density. That’s just how it is,” said Lerner.

Mayor Frank Auman concurred, saying that the evidence was there had been no new developments built under the city’s current rules.

“The most important thing you can do to drive down housing costs is build more housing,” Auman said. 

In other business:

— The council also extended a moratorium on processing applications for certain parcels along Lawrenceville Highway between Brockett Road and Cooledge Road.

Community Development Director Courtney Smith said that the current moratorium is set to expire this week, however, the new rezoning is still in process and requires more consideration.

— Finance Director Beverly Hilton presented a budget amendment for Fiscal Year 2024.

The lowest construction bid for Phase 1 of Fitzgerald Park was $1 million over budget. Hilton noted that because of the number of American Rescue Plan Act projects being done, contractors are bidding higher.

City Councilmember Noelle Monferdini said that she was surprised that the project was only $1 million over.

“The amount of projects being done out there is astronomical,” Monferdini said.

Another $700,000 contract awarded for a sewer project at Fitzgerald Park lacked the required clauses for ARPA funding. The contract will be paid out of the general fund, leaving the ARPA funds for other projects.

— The city council approved a special land use permit expansion for a personal care home at 2553 Sandpiper Drive.  

— The city council approved an alcohol sales permit for beer and wine for a convenience store located at 5960 East Ponce de Leon Ave.

— The city awarded a contract to construct a sidewalk along the west side of Brockett Road from Lawrenceville Highway to Grantland Drive to Construction 57 in the amount of $131,550.

During public comment, Laurel Jackson said that she supported building a sidewalk but that an existing flooding problem was increasing, and she feared that any more concrete would make it worse. Jackson said she would prefer pervious pavers or some other way to mitigate flooding.

— Auman announced the hire of seven new city employees:  Court clerks Lizzet Ramirez and Dina Velasquez Soto, IT Support Specialist Chris Seals, Parks and Recreation Leader Manager on Duty Anna Hendry, Outdoor Education Program Specialist Charlie Chavez, Athletic Leader J’Darius Nance, and Parks and Recreation Custodian Harvette Palmer.

— Neal Stubblefield announced that the Tucker Civic Association will be holding a candidate forum for those running for city council. The forum will be held at the First United Methodist Church from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12. There will also be a meet and greet starting at 6:30.

— Auman announced that Shop Latino Owned Business Day will be held on Sept. 15.

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