Sugar Hill holds annexation meeting

SUGAR HILL - More than 100 property owners faced Sugar Hill's officials Monday to discuss the city's proposed legislative annexation of about 700 acres. The acreage stands in the area of Ga. Highway 20 and Suwanee Dam Road.

Property owners who do not want to be annexed into Sugar Hill might remain in the county, if omitting their property does not create a land island, Mayor Gary Pirkle told the standing-room only crowd.

The annexation is designed to clean up Sugar Hill's ragged city boundaries and align the city limits along roadways.

None of the proposed annexations are land islands.

"We surround these properties on three sides, almost four, but it is not an island because the lines don't meet completely," Hail said.

Sugar Hill is asking for a legislative annexation. If the city councilmen vote in favor of the annexation, the request will be presented to the Georgia Legislature for decision.

Rep. Bobby Reese, R-Sugar Hill, said his vote will depend on the desires of his constituents.

"The public outcry said, 'No,'" Reese said at Monday's meeting. "Too many people see this as eminent domain. I told Mayor and Council that if they could work the bugs out of the plan, then I will help them."

Any property owners who are annexed in this proposal will have their rezoning handled free of charge and will have their next five years' taxes rebated through the gas bills, Pirkle said.

Fern Tribble has lived on her property for 54 years. She wants her approximately 15 acres to remain in the county.

"I don't want to pay more taxes," Tribble said. "I can't hook into the sewer. I don't play golf."

Harold Garton sent a petition around the Emerald Lakes subdivision, of which about 1⁄3 stands in Sugar Hill and the rest in the county, that returned with about 90 percent of the residents voting to remain outside Sugar Hill's boundaries, Garton said.

City officials will present a second map of proposed annexations to the mayor and councilmen at the Feb. 7 work session. A vote is expected at the Feb. 12 city council meeting.

Recent mass annexations in Auburn and Norcross have caused contention between property owners and the municipalities.