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Land use plan, police equipment discussed by city council
City Hall 2

An update to the city’s 20-year land use plan and new equipment for police were among items discussed by the city of Cumming this week.

On Tuesday, the Cumming City Council held their monthly meeting, where members discussed an update to the city’s comprehensive plan and approved several items for local police.

Comprehensive plan

The city is in the midst of updating its 20-year land use plan, which will likely be discussed at a future meeting.

City of Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said the plan has recommendations that do not apply to the city.

“It’s got recommending improving fire and ambulance service,” he said. “Of course, the city doesn’t have a fire department … also it’s got in there a proposal to purchase land for the [Big Creek] Greenway on Kelly Mill creek. Kelly Mill is not in the city of Cumming.”

Councilman Chuck Welch said a special meeting would likely be held to discuss the plan.

“It feels like some of the comments just don’t really apply to us 100 percent and we just want to get some clarity in a work session before we proceed,” Welch said.

Gravitt said the meeting would likely involve the plan’s steering committee. No date appears to have been set.

The plan makes changes to several zoning categories. Residential, single family and residential, multi-family will be replaced with: residential-1, up to 1.5 units per acre; residential-1A, 1.5-2.5 units per acre; residential-2, 2.5-3 units per acre; and residential-3, for single- and multi-family developments with 3-6 units per acre.

A suburban mixed use category was added for “residential, institutional, office-professional, commercial or combination thereof integrated vertically and/or horizontally, with standards such as 25 feet minimum height for buildings, 2 minimum floors and average of 1,600 square feet of heated floor area per dwelling unit.

“We’ve had a lot of zoning requests and everything going on, and some of it may be hinging on some of the things that’s proposed in this sub-area land use planning district,” Gravitt said.
Scott Morgan, the city’s director of planning and zoning said approval of the plan will not add the zoning category to city ordinances and it will need to be adopted by the council.

The plan also lays out goals for housing, historical preservation, economic development, land use, community facilities and services, transportation, intergovernmental cooperation and natural resources on the environment.

Morgan said he was hoping to submit the plan for state and regional review by early April and to adopt the plan at a following meeting.

“We want to get it in the format that in needs to be in before we state and regional entities for review.”

The plan was for discussion only and no public hearing was held.

A copy of the plan is available at

Police equipment

The council unanimously approved several new items to be used for local law enforcement, beginning with the purchase of seven mobile Digital Ally cameras from Goodspeed Performance for $20,610.

“We’ve got some aging cameras that have actually outlived their usefulness and are discontinued models,” said Police Chief Casey Tatum.

“The parts to fix these cameras are no longer available and are special order and cost a lot of money compared to what they did when we first purchased them.”

Tatum said the department had planned for the purchase and the funds were in the 2017 budget. Gravitt said the cameras would improve police safety.

The council also approved spending $6,000 on the purchase of three lasers from TMDE Calibration to be used by the Georgia State Patrol.

“They do assist us,” Tatum said. “It would only make sense to help them when we can.”