At the Sugar Hill City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15, City Manager Paul Radford updated the public on the progress of the recently formed Sugar Hill Department of Public Safety. The January meeting saw the swearing in of deputy chief marshals Jose Collazo and Andy Smith by Chief Marshal Diane King.

“They continue to work on the department’s standard operating procedures and putting in place the necessary letter agreements with area law enforcement agencies,” Radford said. “The staff are visible in the community and will continue to fine tune schedules, coverage areas and coordination of coverage times.”

Radford expects the department will be fully staffed with five officers and one administrative assistant by mid-April.

City clerk Jane Whittington also reminded the community that the special election to fill the City Council Post 4 seat vacated by Nic Greene will be held March 15. Early voting will begin on Monday, Feb. 21, and run through Friday, March 11. Voters can cast their ballots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

Council member Taylor Anderson mentioned the Sweep the Hooch event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 26. The annual river cleanup sees hundreds of volunteers gather together to remove trash from across the Chattahoochee watershed.

The council went on to approve a number of agenda items that received no objections from the community, including a design review for an individual’s new home, a design review and stream buffer variance for a new community of townhomes on Nelson Brogdon Boulevard and a design review for residential and commercial developments in the previous junkyard at 1450 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

The city council also heard an application for a change in conditions to construct an office and warehouse building at 4810 Wages Way.

Ronald Taylor, a neighboring resident to the property, spoke briefly to ensure the privacy conditions he had previously discussed with the council and the applicant were still in place.

Joshua Page then voiced his objection on behalf of himself and his neighbors on Hidden Circle Drive. He cited traffic and noise as his primary concerns regarding the business.

“You would be surprised how many speed demons come through … it’s kind of upsetting and alarming,” Page said. “I’m not sure if the public safety department … if that could kind of be in their purview to ensure that when it’s after 7 p.m., that they’re actually going around to make sure that that business or those businesses are actually closed and not doing business.”

The applicant was then given the chance to speak and explain that the site would be used as offices and storage for e-commerce businesses, not retail or high-traffic shops. The council also assured Page that noise mandates are monitored by the department of public safety. The ordinance was approved unanimously.

The council also unanimously denied a special use permit for a massage establishment at 4450 Nelson Brogdon Road without comment.

Council members also rejected a request for proposal for a 22-acre park construction manager at risk due to lack of applicants.

Finally, the city council voted to approve a shortlist of candidates for on-call engineering services for the city.

This came after Radford disclosed what he deemed a potential conflict of interest since his daughter recently accepted a position with Atlas Technical Consultants, one of the applicants. She would be working with the Georgia Department of Transportation and would have no interaction with the city of Sugar Hill.

“I’ve talked to our attorneys about this one … my position is not in violation of state law, it’s not in violation of our code of ethics nor is it in violation of my membership with the International City Managers Association, but I think in an overabundance of caution, I need to announce it,” Radford said.

After Mayor Brandon Hembree praised Radford for erring on the side of caution, the council unanimously approved the shortlist, which included Atlas Technical Consultants.

FEATURED PHOTO: Sugar Hill resident Joshua Page speaks before the Sugar Hill City Council during the council’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Photo by Chris Bellows. 

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