The proposed city of Sharon Springs cleared a set of legislative hurdles this week.
On Wednesday, the Georgia House of Representatives’ governmental affairs subcommittee and regular committee held meetings on House Bill 626, which provides the process for creating the proposed city of Sharon Springs in south Forsyth.
“Since it was passed by the subcommittee, it went to the full committee later that afternoon, and it also passed the full committee,” said District 25 state Rep. Todd Jones, who introduced the bill in 2017.
Jones said the bill will next go to the House rules committee. If the bill passes that committee, the next step is taking it to the House floor for debate.
“The rules committee will hear from me, hopefully, next week, and they will make a determination whether the bill should go to the floor of the House,” Jones said.
Jones said during Wednesday’s meeting ahead of the subcommittee he had to present the bill and answer questions. Speakers on both sides of the bill also had a chance to give input.
“There were people who were both pro and con [toward the city] at the meeting, and they were given the opportunity to testify to the committee during the process,” he said.
Jones said he was happy the subcommittee heard from those on both sides and gave him a chance to explain why he put the bill forward.
“As you can imagine, most bill sponsors are advocating for the underlying premise of the bill, whereas I’m advocating for the process,” he said.
During the subcommittee meeting, the western boundary of the city was clarified as McFarland Road south of the intersection with Ga. 400. Land west of McFarland is not included in the proposed city.
In October, a 12-member committee made up of representatives from across the county recommended allowing voters living in the area of the proposed city to vote on cityhood.
Only voters in the area of the proposed city will be able to vote, and the committee recommended the referendum must have the support of 57.5 percent — a compromise between a simple majority and two-thirds majority — of voters.
Before reaching voters, the bill will need to be approved by the Georgia General Assembly and signed by Gov. Nathan Deal. If passed, a referendum would be held in May.
The approximate boundaries of the proposed city are east of Ga. 400 except the portion west of McFarland Road, south of Hwy. 20 except for areas in the city of Cumming, west of the Chattahoochee River — already a boundary with Gwinnett County — and north of the Fulton County line.