Baldwin Officials Address Property Owner's Concerns Over Development and Permit Delays


Developer and former longtime Cornelia Mayor Don Higgins shared his frustration with the Baldwin City Council last night, saying he has paid money to the city for a site grading permit and ordered a building but now is not being allowed to construct it.

Higgins, who purchased property in Airport Industrial Park on which to construct an engineered speculative building, says he is caught in the middle of a revision to stormwater management regulations and it’s costing him time.

0:31 {HIGGINS: “I was hoping I could build a building – they took my money to get me started and then held me up and I can’t go forward while they bring everything up to the standards that it should have been a long time ago. So, I was hoping that maybe we could live together and we could be building our building while they’re building their infrastructure up to whatever standards it should be. And I was hoping we could just labor in harmony together and we’ll both advance. That’s what I was trying to say, but I think there was a legal opinion in there that negated that and my argument has little worth to them, I guess.”}

After venting during last night’s meeting and making comments afterward, Higgins says maybe he shouldn’t have said anything publicly about the ongoing delays.

Those who need to conduct business at the White County Courthouse in Cleveland should take note of some new pandemic restrictions. Our Rob Moore explains.

1:06 {ROB VOICER: “COVID-19 again is impacting business conducted in the courthouses in Towns, Union, White, and Lumpkin County for the next month or so. An order signed Friday and effective yesterday suspends all jury trials and grand jury proceedings for a 30-day period, with the possibility of a 30-day renewal if the current medical situation continues. The order encourages virtual proceedings in all classes of courts in the Enotah Circuit, mandates face coverings and temperature checks for all individuals entering a courthouse, and encourages staggered or divided calendars in all classes of court. A violation of the mask mandate during any live, in-court proceeding shall be subject to an immediate contempt hearing before the presiding judge of superior court. The order was issued because the three hospitals operating within the judicial circuit are operating at near capacity, at capacity, or even beyond capacity, the order states.”}

Thus far, the Mountain Judicial Circuit that includes Habersham, Rabun, and Stephens counties, has not announced similar measures.

And, Habersham County Sheriff’s Sergeant Griggs Wall joined his colleagues from Gainesville and Doraville police departments to deliver needed supplies for counterparts in Louisiana severely impacted by Hurricane Ida. The Louisiana responders are the first to come to the aid of other communities in the Southeast when disaster strikes, so Wall says it was only fitting Police Unity Tour members from Georgia collect donations. Wall and Doraville Police Chief Chuck Atkinson delivered two trailers loaded with supplies to the Lafourche Parrish Sheriff’s Office over the weekend.