County, Baldwin reach tentative agreement on proposed annexation

Many area residents remain adamantly opposed to the annexation and development of 145 acres of land off Thompson Road in south Habersham County. (Source: Google maps)

Months of back and forth debate over a proposed annexation of 145 acres on the south end of Habersham County may be nearing an end.

Late Wednesday, September 16, negotiating attorneys for the city of Baldwin, Lula Capital, and Habersham County reached a tentative agreement that, if approved, could pave the way for construction of a major housing development.

Under terms of the agreement, the number of housing units would be reduced from 736 to 580 units. County Manager Phil Sutton says the agreement also outlines the timing and responsibility of the upgrade and realignment of Thompson Road and an additional secondary access point into the development from Wilbanks Road.

Attorneys for the three parties are currently working on a negotiated settlement for consideration by the Habersham Board of Commissioners and the City of Baldwin, according to Sutton. An arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday was suspended until the elected officials can consider the proposed agreement.

“It is the parties’ hope that a draft agreement will be ready for submittal next week,” Sutton tells Now Habersham. “If an agreement is reached, the Arbitration Panel will enter an order to confirm the agreement between the parties.”

The commission first considered the proposed annexation back in June. Opponents of the plan argue the proposed development would create traffic congestion and potentially dangerous crossings on GA-365. It would also drastically alter the rural character of the area.

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