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Residents worry about plans for more homes, businesses in Flowery Branch

POSTED: November 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Six people spoke about traffic and commercial development concerns at a public hearing Thursday night on a proposal to expand the already massive Sterling on the Lake development off Spout Springs Road.

Several residents said they were concerned that fast-growing development would add more cars to the congested two-lane Spout Springs Road.

Chris Hartnett said he didn’t favor plans for a commercial site at the main entrance to Sterling on the Lake at Spout Springs.

He said he didn’t want to see the developer, Newland Communities, "get rid of the trees and put up a parking lot."

"If you take that away, you’ll never get it back," he said.

Newland is proposing to change its master plans to include four additional acres for commercial development at Lake Sterling Boulevard and Spout Springs Road, or across from the Hall County Library System’s Spout Springs branch.

That area had been intended for homes.

Patrick Clark, vice president and general manager for Newland’s Eastern region, told the audience that only light, neighborhood-friendly uses would be considered — such as a child care center or a place to get a sandwich or haircut.

"It would be convenient to the (Sterling) residents but also to people traveling on Spout Springs Road," he said.

The company, which is based nationally in San Diego and has an office in Duluth, also proposes to add a 77.7-acre tract and a 27-acre tract to Sterling. Both tracts are off Capitola Farm Road.

The neighborhood now has 550 homes and the OK to build up to 1,788 homes on its 900 acres.

If council approves the latest plans, Newland could build 1,964 homes on nearly 1,000 acres.

The council is set to give its first consideration to the plan Wednesday during a meeting that starts at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall on 5517 Main St.



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