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Local News Archives for 2023-02

City of Canton Designated as City of Civility by Georgia Municipal Association

The City of Canton has been designated as a City of Civility by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). The City adopted a civility resolution in GMA’s new Embrace Civility program during the Feb. 2, 2023, Council Meeting; Canton is the third city in Georgia to make this commitment.

 

A 2019 poll by Weber Shandwick revealed that over 90% percent of Americans believe that incivility is a problem, with nearly 68% percent identifying it as a major problem. Civility is more than just politeness; it is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions and teaching others to do the same. 

 

"Consistent with our Roadmap for Success tenet of Leading with Excellence, I am extremely proud Canton was one of the first cities in Georgia to adopt a resolution to become a City of Civility,” said Mayor Bill Grant. “As we continue to build upon our successes, we must always remember that all people in our community have the right to be treated with respect, courtesy, and openness – especially when we disagree. In a world increasingly defined by divisive rhetoric, civility is essential in our journey to becoming a kinder and stronger community."

 

GMA, in partnership with the Association’s nonprofit organization, Georgia City Solutions, created the Embrace Civility program to equip Georgia’s cities with resources to create more civility in their meetings and among their residents and meeting attendees. Civil behavior and speech are critically important to a healthy, functional, and respectful society. For public service to be effective, there must be an atmosphere of respect and tolerance and a commitment to a healthy public exchange of diverse ideas and viewpoints. 

 

“I commend the City of Canton for embracing civility and adopting the resolution to become a GMA City of Civility,” said GMA CEO and Executive Director Larry Hanson. “We believe that Georgia’s cities have a great platform to model open, free, and vigorous debate, while maintaining the highest standards of civility, honesty, and mutual respect.”

 

To become a City of Civility, city councils are required to adopt a Civility Resolution and pledge to engage in civil behavior with each other as well as with residents and meeting attendees. Cities also have a civility pledge that can be published or recited at meetings. Learn more about the Embrace Civility program at www.gacities.com/civility.

Cherokee County and Cities Collaborate on Sixes Road Area Plan

Cherokee County and the cities of Holly Springs and Woodstock are coming together to plan for future development near the Sixes Road interchange at Interstate 575.

The nearly 100 acres located in the southeast quadrant of the interchange are prime for strong commercial and employment nodes for the community but lacks accessibility. The land is divided among the two cities and the county jurisdictions, and all three governmental entities’ comprehensive land use plans show the parcels as regional center/employment.

Instead of piecemeal development, city and county leaders want to take a collaborative look and plan together to ensure quality development of the area and lessen the impact of traffic congestion.

Holly Springs and Cherokee County have approved separate moratoriums on development applications and permits for the area as a joint area plan is developed.

The Board of Commissioners approved a 45-day moratorium Feb. 7, and Holly Springs approved a 40-day moratorium Feb. 6. Woodstock is expected to approve a 30-day emergency moratorium on Feb. 13 and then a six-month moratorium that requires two readings on Feb. 13 and Feb. 27. The Holly Springs and Cherokee County moratoriums can be extended by a vote of each elected board. Cherokee County will hold a public hearing on the moratorium on March 21.

While the moratoriums are in effect, county and city planners will review land use and zoning districts for the area, creating the area plan that will highlight what leaders envision for the

more than 30 parcels. County Community Development Agency Director Brantley Day said a transportation improvement plan also is slated for creation.

“This quadrant of the Sixes Road and I-575 interchange has tremendous potential for a regional development that will enhance the entire area,” said District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter, who represents the area. “I am pleased that the County, Holly Springs and Woodstock are joining together to plan for the development of this area. I look forward to the completed plan in the near future, as we work to realize the full potential of this area.”

“This joint planning effort is just one more example of our cities and county working together more effectively than ever before,” said Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell. “The area under discussion represents a vital crossroads between Woodstock, Holly Springs, and Cherokee County with a tremendous opportunity to become a long-range, planned jobs center for the south end of our county, and I’m grateful to see our leaders setting a strong foundation for the future.”

“Because of the location and multiple governmental entities involved as well as the impact future development will have on the daily lives of our residents, it is imperative that we work together with Cherokee County and the City of Woodstock to temporarily pause development and master plan this property,” said Holly Springs Mayor Steven Miller.

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