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Zoning and Variance Requests

One of the more complex issues local government has to deal with is zoning decisions. Whenever a controversial case comes up, people often ask, “Why would you even allow them to apply for that?” or “Why don’t you just tell them, ‘no?’”

The answer is simple. Under the law in Georgia, as with most states, a property owner has the right to ask for a variance, rezoning, etc. for their property. Everyone gets their day in court, so to speak. That concept is as old as zoning itself.

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“How Can I Help,” You Ask?

When the Beatles recorded “With a Little Help from My Friends” for their 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s album, it is doubtful that they were talking about government service. Yet, half a century later, that very expression characterizes public safety in Woodstock and throughout Cherokee County.

Our community has been recognized as being a safe one numerous times over the last several years. Indeed, the hardworking women and men of Cherokee County’s public safety team are on task 24/7 to keep the peace and promote safety. But many of the public safety successes we all enjoy would not be possible without the contributions of our residents, visitors and stakeholders. They’re a critical part of the public safety equation, and it’s only with their support and cooperation that the quality of life in our communities continues to improve. None of us is as strong as all of us.

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Woodstock Receives a 911 Artifact from the World Trade Center Subway Station to Create Memorial

Since September 11, 2006, the City has partnered with the Woodstock Jaycees to host the 9-11 Day of Remembrance Ceremony in the Park at City Center. The purpose of the ceremony is to commemorate the lives lost in the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001.This annual ceremony stands as a solemn reminder that we should not take our freedoms for granted. This year’s upcoming ceremony promises to be even more special.

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Learn Before You Burn

Spring is here. Well, it’s Georgia, so we have skipped spring and moved straight into summer. For many, this means yard cleanup: new mulch, flowers, trimming the shrubs and raking up dead leaves dropped by the trees over the winter months.

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Holiday Fire Safety

Fire safety is especially important around the holidays. It’s during this time that we do many things differently.

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Woodstock’s New Amphitheater Breaks Ground!

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, the City of Woodstock officially broke ground on the new amphitheater project in Downtown Woodstock.

Woodstock Mayor, Donnie Henriques, said, “This project has been long discussed, and I’m pleased that we’re moving forward with this addition to our city.”  “Construction will take about nine months to a year to complete,” said City Manager, Jeffrey S. Moon. The new amphitheater will feature tiered grass seating for 5000-6000, restrooms, retaining walls and a band shell with a green room. It’ll be used for outdoor concerts, dramas and other activities. “We’ve designed it in such a way that it’ll also be a very usable park on a daily basis,” Moon added.

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Woodstock Ranked in Top 50 Best Places to Live in America

Recently, Money Magazine named Woodstock as one of the “50 Best Places to Live” in the United States of America for 2015. Woodstock was the only city in Georgia to be included on their list this year. This was the first time that Woodstock was chosen for this honor.

It was nice to be selected and recognized by a national publication. To be honest though, I can’t tell you that we set out with the goal in mind of being selected for this list. We have tried to focus on an “all of the above” approach for implementing the mayor and council’s vision for the future of Woodstock. From creating a vibrant downtown, to improving the number and variety of recreational opportunities, and providing quality public safety and planning for first-class neighborhoods, the focus of elected officials and staff has been on accomplishing this shared vision.

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Welcome, Brantley Day, New Community Development Director

As City Manager, it is my pleasure to announce the recent hiring of our new Community Development Director for the City of Woodstock, Mr. Brantley Day. Mr. Day is filling the position vacated by Jessica Guinn, who left to become the Assistant City Manager for the City of Dunwoody. Brantley’s first day on the job was August 17th.  We are excited about the professionalism, project management experience and expertise he brings to our community.

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Back to School … Safely!

For most of us, the back-to-school season brings the constant shuffling of papers, carpools, heavy backpacks, and hectic schedules. While getting back into the swing of things, remember to safely share the roads with school buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and be sure to reinforce with children the necessary knowledge to keep them safe throughout the school year.

Twenty years ago, young children, ages 5 to 9, were more at risk than any other age group under 19 for being struck by a vehicle while walking. Thankfully, the death rate for kids of all ages in this category has declined more than 50 percent since 1995. But the news is not all good.

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Woodstock July 4th Celebrations 1997-2015

As the City of Woodstock prepares for this year’s July 4th Celebration, we’ve been looking back at our past Independence Day celebrations. Although the way we celebrate July 4th in the City of Woodstock may have changed from year to year, one thing remains the same, Woodstock shows its patriotic pride every time!

Do you remember when … skydivers used to land in the middle of Main Street just before the parade, hot air balloon rides and go cart races? How about Grand Marshall’s Corky Jones, Don Hatcher, Earl and Linda Mulkey, and Lillie Mae Brownlee? Can you remember when the fireworks were displayed at Dupree Park, the old Woodstock Elementary School field, and in the downtown City Park?

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Time to "Unplug" and Enjoy Our Parks & Trails

The Woodstock Parks and Recreation Department is on the move, finding new and unique ways to incorporate health and fitness into our citizen’s daily lifestyle. Over the past few years, we have focused on expanding our outdoor fitness opportunities to fill this need.

With its one-of-a-kind pirate ship theme, the Dupree Park Playground was constructed with our youngest residents in mind. Climb, swing and steer the ship from the upper level of the playground and then slide your way to more fun on the lower tier. While your kids see it as a jolly good time, it’s a great way to set the pace for a lifestyle of outdoor enjoyment.

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Sustainable Woodstock Living the Vision

In January, the Mayor and City Council of Woodstock held the annual planning retreat, where goals and accomplishments are assessed, and the vision and priorities for the City are decided upon. This year, the Vision Statement for 2020 was reviewed and remained unchanged, stating: Woodstock is a sustainable city with hometown pride. Our City is a community for a lifetime with 1st class neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown and natural and designed beauty. Our residents enjoy convenient living and active lifestyles. “Experience Woodstock. . . Her Heritage. . . Her Vision.”

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2015 Summer Concert Series

The City of Woodstock has announced its 2015 Summer Concert Series line up. This year, the Concert Series will feature the following acts: Savannah Jack (Country), Eliminator (ZZ Top Cover Band), Departure & Electric Avenue (Journey & 80’s), The Rupert’s Orchestra (70’s and 80’s), Gimme Abbey (Satisfaction & the Return). The Summer Concert Series spans the months of May through September with concerts on the second Saturday of each month. Concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

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Woodstock Fire Department Receives Class 1 ISO Rating

In early 2015, Woodstock Fire Department was notified that it had received a rating of Class 1 from the Insurance Services Offices (ISO), giving it the highest possible score a fire department can achieve. The new ISO rating will take effect April 1, 2015. The new rating should help citizens and businesses receive a reduction in their insurance premiums.

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Improved Dupree Park Offers Multiple Outdoor Activities

Dupree Park, located at 513 Neese Road in Woodstock, has seen a lot of changes in the past few years. The 35-acre park, originally constructed in the mid-‘70s, features a 3-acre pond with rolling hills with pine trees and hard woods covering one third of the park. In 2010, the Woodstock Parks and Recreation Dept. consolidated two small play areas into one large playground and constructed handicap-accessible park restrooms. The existing picnic pavilion was demolished and a new modern pavilion was constructed in its place. The City later converted its two underutilized softball fields into 5 acres of multi-use greenspace.

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New Volunteer Program Promotes Trail Safety

The City of Woodstock is spearheading a new trail-safety initiative on its Greenprints Trail System, which has nearly 20 miles currently and is projected to have more than 60 miles in and around Woodstock and adjacent areas of Cherokee County. The new Trail Watch Volunteer Program enlists the help of local residents and trail users to help patrol its trails in an effort to make sure that our trail users have a safe and enjoyable experience.

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Happy Trails

Cherokee County and its municipalities are among the safest in Georgia. Yet, recent events have raised awareness of safety, particularly on the trails in metro Atlanta. In Woodstock alone, cyclists from across the state bike more than 60,000 miles every month on trails in parks and throughout the city. With continued growth come both challenge and opportunity.

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Grant Will Bring Gateway to Woodstock

In 2002, the City of Woodstock was awarded a grant through the Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program to fund a planning effort to revitalize Downtown Woodstock. Through this planning initiative, residents and businesses came together to envision a vibrant, walkable town center, and the course toward realizing that vision was set. As a result of this intense planning process, today's residents and visitors enjoy an active and award-winning downtown area, with a variety of housing options, world-class dining experiences, specialty shops, and a character that is uniquely Woodstock.

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Happy New Year

I can’t believe it’s already here: the mid-point in the “kid year.” The time when all of us, young and seasoned, dread the holidays ending and going back to work or school.This also is true for our city government. Coming later in January is our annual planning retreat. This is the time when the city council gets together to set the goals for the coming year. Two major issues on the table this year include the widening of the intersection of Towne Lake Parkway, Arnold Mill Road and Main Street.

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