The Arbor Day Foundation has named Winterville a Tree City of the World. Winterville joins just three other cities in Georgia who have been so-recognized. Tree Cities of the World is a program founded by The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to recognize cities around the globe that have committed to growing and maintaining their urban forest. Through this recognition, Winterville will join a network of like-minded cities who recognize the importance of trees in building healthy, resilient and happy cities.
Planting trees in a metropolitan area comes with a myriad of benefits. Trees can help reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control. The presence of large street and yard trees adds to home values and those homes sell faster. Trees calm traffic and many studies have shown that crime is lower in areas with natural tree landscapes. A large, healthy tree can produce enough oxygen each day for 18 people. Trees reduce air pollution and absorb carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulates. It has been estimated that over 50 years of its life, a tree generates almost $32,000 worth of oxygen and provides $62,000 value in air pollution control.
The Tree Cities of the World program aims to create more green spaces in urban areas by recognizing the cities that do it well. Planting more trees is the quickest and easiest way to improve a city’s tree canopy and invest in a brighter future.
Those citizens who have received postcards that their home is located within a proposed historical district are invited to attend one of three public hearings to discuss the benefits and responsibilities of this important new status for their properties.
All three hearings will be held at the Winterville Auditorium at 373 N. Church St. Masks and social distancing required.
These hearings will be held:
- Tuesday, February 16th at 6:00 PM
- Wednesday, February 17th at 12:00 PM
- Saturday, February 20th at 10:00 AM
This event will be on Facebook Live. Please follow the City of Winterville Facebook page to receive notifications for each meeting.
For more details and to review the proposed district guidelines, visit the Historic Preservation Commission on this website or email WintervilleHPC@gmail.com
The City Council is evaluating proposals to add crosswalks on Main Street at the Depot and at Henry Meyer Rd.
The crosswalk at the Depot would cross Main Street between Parkview Drive and Avery Place.
At Henry Meyer, there are two proposed crosswalks, one across Main Street to Henry Meyer Rd, and one across Henry Meyer Rd.
No Through Trucks on Main Street
An ordinance to prohibit “through trucks” on Main Street was voted on and adopted by City Council at our
December meeting. Basically, this means that any truck over 6 wheels without a beginning or ending destination
in Winterville will be prohibited from traveling down Main Street as a cut through to a destination outside of the
city limits. Citizens have long been concerned about the amount of heavy truck traffic on Main Street, and the
addition of our Firefly Trail has only added to concerns about safety. We continue to add traffic calming measures
and increase the safety of all streets in the city. Passing this ordinance was a big step forward in that endeavor.
The recent amendment of our City Charter to remove the prohibition of beer and wine in the city limits cleared
the way for the Winterville City Council to consider an ordinance allowing the sale and/or manufacture of beer
and wine within the City of Winterville. An alcohol ordinance was considered at our December meeting after a
public hearing was held to hear comments from citizens. The ordinance was voted on and adopted. Licenses and
permits for the sale and/or manufacture of beer and wine can now be obtained at City Hall. Distilled spirits are
still prohibited under the City Charter.
This might be the most important ordinance adopted by City Council in 2020. After seeing the purchase of homes
in the city for the sole purpose of short-term rentals or Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), City Council imposed
a moratorium on the issuance of licenses to such businesses, allowing time for our city code to be updated to
address this type of use. Cities with a disproportionate amount of short-term rental versus residential property can
quickly lose their identity, which is why the mayor and councilmembers felt the need to act fast. The update to our
code was presented, voted on, and adopted. The language of the ordinance requires those operating an AirBnB,
VRBO, or Bed and Breakfast on their property to reside on the premises. Find this and all recently adopted
ordinances at www.cityofwinterville.com.
Occupational/Business Tax Ordinance
The need for this update to our Code of Ordinances arose from the short-term rental issue, as it brought to light
deficiencies that needed to be remedied. Specifically, in order to regulate businesses, we have to define those
businesses. This was done through an update to the Occupational/Business Tax Ordinance. The council also voted
to adopt a new fee schedule, but as businesses are already struggling, it was decided to freeze the fee schedule and
any increases until 2022. Local businesses will pay the same business license fee in 2021 that they paid in 2020,
but we urge all business owners to look at the new fee schedule as they prepare their budgets for 2022.
Crosswalk at Main Street and Parkview
We are very happy to report that work should begin soon on a much safer crosswalk at Main Street and Parkview.
The current crosswalk in front of the Depot on Main Street does not provide a safe enough crossing for that
site. After receiving a recommendation from the TSPLOST/SPLOST Citizen Advisory Committee, City Council
immediately voted to fund this project using TSPLOST dollars. The surveying has been done, and the plans are
being drawn up. Once plans are approved, bids will be submitted to the council for approval and a contractor will
be chosen. Construction should begin in the first quarter of 2021. This is another major step toward traffic calming
in the city.
The Winterville Downtown Development Authority is up and running! This is exciting news, as city businesses
will benefit immediately and for years to come. The Georgia Municipal Association picked Winterville as one of
three pilot cities under their “Place Making Program” designed to help Georgia cities revitalize their downtown/
commercial districts and strengthen their communities. Thank you to all the directors of the Downtown Development Authority and the officers recently elected to lead the it. Look for an introduction to members of the WDDA in the next issue of the Gazette.
Arbor Day 2021
The Winterville Tree Commission will host a virtual Arbor Day celebration on February 20, 2021, when a new
bald cypress will be planted in the natural area of Pittard Park that day. Thank you to the Tree Commission for all
of their hard work this year and every year! Our city becomes more beautiful each year with your help.
The City of Winterville has adopted an Inclusivity Statement to ensure that both residents and visitors know that
we are a city that welcomes all people. The statement will be added to the city website and will also be incorporated
into a future art piece within the city. It reads as follows: Welcome to Winterville, Georgia. We are a small city with a big heart, and we are glad that you are here. Wintervillians take pride in our community traditions, festivals, parks and trails, and our people. Whether you are a long-term resident, a new neighbor, or a visitor, there is room for you here. We welcome and value the beauty of diversity and strive for equality and inclusivity in all we do.
The City of Winterville will have a new pocket park in 2021 dedicated to George H.
Chandler, who we lost this year to COVID-19. The park will serve as a rest area for
citizens and visitors using the Firefly Trail. Designed to be a “mindfulness garden,” it
will celebrate inclusivity and diversity. Partnerships with the City of Winterville, the Winterville Civitan Club, and other organizations will make the park possible. George was Winterville. George was Civitan. His passion for this city and his dedication to service and community will be forever enshrined by Chandler Park. The park will be located on the green space bounded by the Front Porch Bookstore’s mural wall, City Hall, and the Blacksmith Shop. Donations are welcome; look for information soon on how to contribute to the park fund.
Holiday Lights Contest
The Winterville Arts Council did a great job again this year with the Holiday Lights contest. The map of participating
homes caused a great deal of excitement among citizens and visitors alike at the end of this extremely difficult
year. As of this writing, the map had over 300 shares and 47,000 views on social media. All of our committees
and organizations do such good work on behalf of our city and greater community, and for that we are grateful.
An online public meeting with ACC Leisure Services will take place on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
Two informational in-person drop-in sessions are scheduled at Pittard Park (main picnic shelter), 115 Parkview Road, Winterville:
Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Attendees are reminded to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings. Time limits may be imposed if large numbers attend.
Details, including possible alternate routes, are at the ACC Listens website:
Thanks, Bruce Johnson
Guidelines for Historic Preservation in Winterville
On May 1, 2018, the first meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was held at Winterville City Hall.
Mayor Dodd Ferrell and the City Council passed an Ordinance to form this Commission:
In support and furtherance of its findings and determination that the historical, cultural, and aesthetic heritage of the City of Winterville is among its most valued and important assets and that the preservation of this heritage is essential to the promotion of the health, prosperity, and general welfare of the people;
In order to stimulate revitalization of the business districts and historic neighborhoods and to protect and enhance local historic and aesthetic attractions to tourists and thereby promote and stimulate business;
In order to enhance the opportunities for federal and state benefits under relevant provisions of federal or state law; and
In order to provide for the designation, protection, preservation, and rehabilitation of historic properties and historic districts and to participate in federal or state programs to do the same;
The Winterville City Council hereby declare it to be the purpose and intent of this Ordinance to establish a uniform procedure for use in providing for the protection, enhancement, perpetuation, and use of places, districts, sites, buildings, structures, objects, and landscape features having a special historical cultural or aesthetic interest or value, in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance.
The first Historic Preservation Commission board members (Kim Burch, president; Jonathan Frye, vice president; Aaron Watwood, secretary; James Tucker, Nancy Tucker, and Charles Burch) met and began the long and detailed work to create the Historic District and the Historic Guidelines.
Enlisting the help of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGARC), with Jordan Shoemaker at the helm, the commission discussed guidelines from comparable cities. The specifics of each section were researched and revised to fit the feel and culture of the City of Winterville and its goals.
Dr. Scott Nesbitt of the University of Georgia undertook as a class project the daunting task of helping to determine the district boundaries. His class helped gather the many photographs used in the Guidelines.
Mark Beatty of NEGARC led the commission in approving the final draft of the Historic District Maps and Guidelines. The HPC is grateful for his guidance.
The Historic Districts contain within them different cultural areas and are named for the central feature of the area.
The Guidelines are meant to be just that—guidelines—that not only protect private property rights but also serve the purpose of protecting Winterville’s unique aesthetics andculture.
Please be on alert as Hurricane Zeta makes way through the southeast this afternoon and through Thursday. We will be getting the city ready and updates will be issued as we get them.
2021 Proposed Budget
On October 13, 2020 Mayor and City Council adopted the 2021 draft budget at their regular meeting.
There will be a Public Hearing on Tuesday November 10, 2020 6:30 pm to accept public comment on the proposed budget.
Monday, October 19th at 7PM EDT
Join Mayor Dodd Ferrelle for a virtual Town Hall meeting on Zoom.
Topics include the alcohol ordinance, 2021 budget, VRBO ordinance and code update, and more….
Join the Zoom Meeting:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87164687541?pwd=SkZmeEQvb1NZWXM0ZllMcmZmenZaZz09
The Future of the Winterville Auditorium
The City of Winterville invites the public to attend a virtual, drop-in, input session via Zoom from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 to discuss how that venue can serve the community.
UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government will facilitate the discussion with the goal of developing a strategic plan for the operation and use of the Winterville Auditorium. Please join the conversation while we talk about the future of this historic facility.