Cornelia commission seeks public input on party nuisances

Much of Cornelia's history and its celebrations center around its Depot. (Margie Williamson/Now Habersham)

The City of Cornelia commission is looking for public input on large gatherings that have been occurring in Cornelia neighborhoods. According to the city, these gatherings first began around September of 2020 and have been a problem ever since. Loud noise and music have been disturbing residents for nearly nine months, and parked vehicles have blocked the flow of traffic.

Cornelia wards 3 and 4, highlighted in blue and yellow, have been most heavily affected.

The issue has occurred mostly in city wards 3 and 4, which cover the northern half of the city. Complaints have come specifically from around Wayside Street, Foster Street and Wood Street. The commission wants to hear from those who have been affected by these events at their upcoming July meeting, and are hoping to make changes to their Special Event Ordinance to better serve the community.

“We tried to combat the problem by making some changes to our noise regulations earlier this year, but these measures have not resolved the problem,” says Cornelia City Manager Dee Anderson. “We are looking at making changes to our Special Event Ordinance which currently requires any private event which will have more than 25 people to obtain a permit from the city. When this ordinance was originally adopted years ago the regulations were put in place for events that take place on commercial and public properties. The changes would include residential areas as well.”

The city calls these gatherings a problem that “plagues” their residential areas, and lowers Cornelia resident’s quality of life in an email to locals.

“The Commissioners are seeking input from the residents at the July 6 meeting to assure that any changes that are made are fair and well thought out,” says Anderson. “After the discussion at our workshop last week, we realized that this is a very complicated issue and we want to come up with the best solution instead of a ‘knee jerk reaction.’ Obviously, we are not looking to restrict people from having family get-togethers and such, but when a party is large enough to disrupt the neighborhood in the manner that we are experiencing, it needs to take place in a facility intended for such an event.”

The City of Cornelia Commission will meet on July 6 at 6:00 pm at the Cornelia Municipal Complex.

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