MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council approved the hiring of a mediator to provide facilitation services for two subareas within the Ga. 9 Visioning Study.
The subareas located along the northeast corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road have caused concern from residents who live in the area. Arrowhead Real Estate Partners recently withdrew their application for a use permit to rezone the land from AG-1 and develop a 95-unit assisted living facility and 19 single-family detached residences.
Mediator Michael Elliott will work with concerned residents to come to an agreement on possible options for the 9 acres of land located along the northeast corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road.
Councilmembers voted unanimously April 8 to contract with Elliott for 80 hours at $125 an hour or $10,000.
“My concern is that the community might misinterpret their compromise as the council’s decision,” Councilmember Joe Longoria said.
Longoria worried that if the council voted on something other than what the mediator determined an acceptable compromise, the community would be upset.
City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said he suggested a mediator step in, calling it “consensus building.”
“The objective is to allow the city to remain neutral,” Lagerbloom said. “We want the citizens to understand that we believe every voice matters and this is a way to come together with a plan to present to City Council.”
Community Development Director Kathleen Field said the mediator will determine how many residents will be included in each group and set up an action plan.
“We will monitor his progress and each meeting will be public,” Field said.
The city staff plans to notify residents of meeting dates and times via current email lists and through the city’s website.
In other business:
*Councilmembers voted unanimously to support a grant application for the fire department to Firehouse Subs Foundation for the purchase of a fire safety education smoke house.
The Milton Fire Department borrows Alpharetta’s or Forsyth County’s fire safety house for fire prevention education.
“We appreciate them allowing us to use theirs, but often our schedules don’t match up,” Fire Marshall Matt Marietta said.
Marietta said fire education is very important, especially to younger kids and the use of fire safety houses has proven effective in actual fires.
The Fire House Subs Foundation offers the grant option to departments where franchisees are located and Marietta didn’t know how many communities would apply.
*Peyton Jamison was unanimously voted in by councilmembers as a board member of the Planning Commission for District 1.
Jamison, a longtime Milton resident, owns Just For Giggles in Crabapple.
<i>This article was published in the Forsyth Herald April 17, 2013 edition<i/>