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Annexation study sees city double in size in 2 decades
Mayor Richard Davis awards the winners of the Georgia Cities Week art and essay contest during Tuesday's City Council meeting. Pictured (from left) are Logan Brown (1st in art), Alexander Kozhemyokin (2nd in essay), Jacqueline Oeschger (2nd in art), Kayleigh Leadbetter (1st in essay), Davis, Breanna Cota (3rd in essay) and Bailey Pelletier (3rd in art). - photo by R. Blair

An annexation study that plans for a Richmond Hill that doubles in size over the next two decades was approved at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The study shows a projection of what the city will look like 20-25 years from now, according to Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar, "but this is a preliminary plan. Nothing is set in stone here."

Scholar said he would like to include the plan in city’s comprehensive land use plan.

The study, which was discussed only briefly at the meeting, shows about 20,000 acres being added to the city limits of Richmond Hill. It would more than double the size of the city by today’s measurement.

"We would not annex anything without the land owner’s consent, but this study shows what we think the city will look like 20 years from now," Scholar said. "This is being done in order to prepare for the future."

Copies of the plan are expected to be available Monday.

Richmond Hill Police Department Chief Billy Reynolds also took the podium at the meeting and made several announcements, including the addition of motorcycles to RHPD patrol.

Council approved Reynolds’ request to introduce motorcycles. Four cycles are slated to be lease-purchased from Harley Davidson for $7,600 each. Reynolds said this is being done to conserve fuel and to increase the life span of the other RHPD vehicles.

Reynolds spoke of Peace Officers Memorial Day which was followed by a proclamation read by Mayor Richard Davis to recognize this holiday on May 15. The public is invited to a memorial service in J.F. Gregory Park Thursday at noon which will include speakers and the reading of all the names of law enforcement in Georgia who have died in the line of duty this past year.

Also in police business, Reynolds announced that municipal court will now be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month beginning at 2 p.m. He said the time frame was expanded in response to growth and to avoid over crowding.

In other business:

-The mayor and council recognized the local winners of the Georgia Cities Week art and essay contests.

-Sonny Timmerman of the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission gave a power point presentation to council in order to "bring Richmond Hill to the table" in joining other nearby communities to participate in actions such as attempting to receive military grant money in response to the anticipated influx of military personnel in the area.

-Council denied the request of Sonny Hart to run a temporary fruit and vegetable stand from the Miner’s tract at the intersection of Hwys. 17 and 144. Mayor Davis said the location is inappropriate because there is no running water at the site.

-Council approved the zoning requirements for Tia Thompson to open a bakery at 110-A Edsel Drive.

-Site plans and building elevations were approved for First Baptist Church to build a field house, to be used for an office and dining, next to their existing soccer fields.

-Council denied a zoning request for John Usher at 8800 Ford Avenue. Usher said he had no immediate plans, but wants to rezone to keep future development and signage opportunities available.

-Site plans were approved for converting a residence at 31 Magnolia Street into GeoVista Credit Union, formerly known as Fort Stewart Credit Union.

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