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ACC Mayor and Commission reach unanimous approval on several items

Mayor and Commission 4/5
Youtube @Athens-Clarke County
Athens-Clarke County Commissioners Parker and Davenport share a moment at a meeting on April 5, 2022.

Last night’s Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission meeting started off with recognition for staff at Athens-Clarke County’s Fire Station No. 2 over a Silver LEED certification for both the station and its adjacent cooperative extension office — the 2011 SPLOST-funded project was completed this year.

Within the hour, the Mayor and Commission approved a Homeland Security Grant for a mobile 911 center, a transportation agreement between the UGA and county bus services and a local ordinance amendment that adds voluntary inclusionary zoning.

Commissioner Mariah Parker.

“A lot of the time it feels like we’re at the whim of developers," Parker said. "But actually having a process by which communities can decide what they want their neighborhoods to look like, what kinds of investments in affordable housing they’d like to see, is something unprecedented.”

The inclusionary zoning program received unanimous approval with many commissioners singing its praises. Commissioner Tim Denson went as far as calling the amendment committee “one of the most productive groups” he’s worked with. Mayor Kelly Girtz said that committee will continue to work on existing areas where inclusionary zoning and affordable housing could be implemented into county ordinances.

With the approval of a 28th declaration of emergency, the commission briefly discussed the continuation of parklets, used by bars and eateries to set up outdoor spaces which would normally be reserved for on-street parking. The parklet program is currently reliant on a continuation of emergency ordinances, though Parker says there could be a vote in May for a separate ordinance embodying this program.

Lastly, construction plans for a library on the east side could be presented to staff next year. Commissioner Carol Myers serves on the site selection committee for that project, with a completion date announced for 2026.