Open house to seek public input on historic preservation

If you believe that historic places are part of what makes White County so special, here’s a chance for you to help save them.

The recently formed Historic Preservation Committee of White County is holding an open-house meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 13, in the Hardman Farm visitor center (sometimes referred to as the “old brick store,” near the corner of Ga. 17 and Ga. 75 in Sautee Nacoochee).

Committee chairman Will Wagner said the members of the group, appointed by the White County Board of Commissioners, are passionate about preserving all of the county’s history, but for now they’re concentrating on one of the best-known places.

“We thought we would start with the biggest historical area first, which is the Sautee Nacoochee valley,” said Wagner, who is general manager of the Hardman Farm State Historic Site as well as Smithgall Woods State Park.

“We hope to get some results to the commission by the end of the year. What do people hope to see us accomplish?”

The committee is tasked with creating a “historic overlay” that could be applied to the county’s existing land-use map. This could help ensure that when a property is re-zoned, for example, its historical assets will be taken into account.

“We would like to take this opportunity to hear from the citizens of White County, and more specifically, those who have businesses, properties or a vested interest in the Sautee and Nacoochee valleys,” Wagner said.

Members of the committee include Blake Boggs, Linda Dixon, John Erbele, Jason Hogan, Judy Lovell, Mike Spence, and Wagner, along with White County economic development director John Sell and Joe Rothwell of the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission.

“Our goal is to find a way to protect the natural and cultural resources while encouraging business growth and real estate value,” Wagner said.

Is it really possible for White County to have the best of both worlds? Come to the meeting and offer your opinion.

For more information, call 706-878-3087.

White County News

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