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City council denies road agreement with county, approves alcohol license for Cumming Cigar
1 Station WEB
The historic Sinclair gas station in downtown Cumming. - photo by Autumn McBride

After recent issues between Forsyth County and the city of Cumming related to annexations, a new source of contention has surfaced between the governments.

At a work session on Tuesday, members of the Cumming City Council voted 5-0 to deny a proposed intergovernmental agreement with the county related to road maintenance. 

City Attorney Kevin Tallant said there was not “a ton of benefit” for the city in the agreement.

“This document makes [the city] legally responsible for a lot more than you are currently responsible for,” Tallant said. “If you were to adopt this, you are taking on a significant mileage burden the city does not currently have under state law.”

Councilman Christopher Light said he was in favor of having some type of agreement with the county laying out which municipality is responsible for local roadways but didn’t want to extend past what the city was required to maintain.

“I think we should just outline what the law requires with an IGA, to where everybody knows,” Light said. “So that way you don’t walk into these situations pointing fingers at each other.”

During the discussion, the city’s current disagreement with the county related to annexations was touched on.

Tallant said the city wasn’t seeking out properties to annex — which some county officials have disputed — but future annexations could impact who is responsible for the roadway.

He said generally if property in the city limits is on both sides of the road, the city is responsible and the county is responsible if property in the city is on only one side.

City officials provided Forsyth County News with a copy of the agreement, which included the city maintain all of Mary Alice Park Road east of Ga. 400; Bettis Tribble Gap Road south of Crain Drive; all of Tribble Gap Road south of Sawnee Drive; and all of Ronald Reagan Boulevard south of Hwy. 20 and north of Haw Creek Road, including the Haw Creek-Ronald Reagan intersection. The city would also be responsible for a culvert at Little Ridge Creek on Sanders Road.

Under the agreement, the county would be responsible for Pilgrim Mill Road from Bronze Oak Way to the end of the road; all of Bettis Tribble Gap Road north of the intersection with Crain Drive; all of Larry Mulkey Memorial Road; all of Hutchinson Road; Ronald Reagan Boulevard south of Haw Creek Road; all of Horseshoe Court; and Sanders Road from Hwy. 20 to Mary Alice Park Road.


Development decision postponed

Council members postponed a decision on a planned development on Ronald Reagan Boulevard near Northside Hospital Forsyth including a hotel and conference center for two weeks as developers and city officials hash out details related to a commercial portion.

There was disagreement between the two sides as to whether a letter for conditions of what should happen to the commercial portion if it is not developed should be included at this point in the process.

Tallant took the position that the letter needed to be a part of the approval rather than being added later and recommended the council hold off on the decision until the Tuesday, July 2 work session, where it can be approved.

“Northside Hospital is saying if the hotel doesn’t happen, they will buy the property and put a medical office on it,” said Mayor Troy Brumbalow. “Then if Northside were to fall out, it gives the city development authority first right. We’re just looking to guarantee that commercial is happening.”

The council approved the decision by a 4-0 vote, with Light recused.

At a previous meeting, developers showed the council plans for an eight-story hotel on 22.38 acres.

The hotel, which is being designed by the Atlanta firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates, would be built in two phases, with a first phase to include 200 hotel rooms, a 15,000-square-foot ballroom and 7,500 square feet of meeting rooms. The second phase would consist of a maximum of 100 hotel rooms and convert some surface parking into deck spaces.

Multi-family housing is also included in the plans, according to documents provided by the City of Cumming’s Department of Planning and Zoning. The development would consist of 336 one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 700 to 1,400 square feet in all-brick buildings that will be designed to create a “pedestrian-oriented environment” and provide “connectivity to the adjacent Northside development,” according to documents.

Amenities for the housing portion of the development would include a 10,000-square-foot luxury clubhouse with a fitness area, club room and kitchen, along with a 1,900-square-foot swimming pool and 3,700 square feet of deck area.

Another portion of the development could include 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

During the meeting, the council also voted to rezone property for the Cumming City Center from highway business to an institutional use.


Alcohol license approved

An alcohol license was approved for Cumming Cigar LLC, which will operate out of the historic Sinclair gas station building in downtown.

The store will be able to sell beer and wine.

The lease terms also include measures to honor the historic nature of the building. The City Council gets to approve the business’s signage, while Cumming Cigar LLC, must maintain the building above the city’s standard “normal wear and tear” terms by keeping it in the same condition it was when the business’s lease started.