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Local Governments Concerned About New Legislation On Home Design

Local municipality leaders are watching how the Georgia legislature handles a proposed law that could prevent cities and counties from setting exterior design standards on homes.

Wording of House Bill 302 calls for prohibiting local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or regulations relating to building design elements. The law would apply to one or two family dwellings and would repeal conflicting laws.

Carrollton City Manager, Tim Grizzard hopes the bill does not get the approval it seeks and contends that cities need the authority to control the quality of development.

 “They don’t need to abuse that power. City needs a variety of housing. They need lower end housing and they need expensive housing, they need a good healthy mix. Cities need the authority to be able to control those design elements. This is not something that I would support and I hope it does not pass,” said Grizzard.

 Some Metro Atlanta governments worry the bill would take away ordinances that rule on things like how far away from the road a house can begin, the number of rooms in a home, or a property’s color and material.

“I’ve never seen them, in Carrollton, regulate color. They have certainly regulated materials. There was a big debate about vinyl, hard plank, whether to have masonry on the front and window placement. Those things are important. We need to listen to the builders and realtors, those are the experts,” commented Grizzard.

“The reality is if you let people have a free hand and build anything, there are some good builders and there are builders that would come in and do something for a quick buck and live somewhere else. They would not want to live in a place that didn’t control the quality of its development.”

HB 302 has passed through house committee.

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