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Huge development near Lula might get approval today

POSTED: December 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Mammoth multiuse development Cane Creek will come before the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a vote at today’s 5 p.m. meeting, and many think there will be no opposition to the project.

Commissioner Steve Gailey, who represents the area where the development is proposed, said he hasn’t received any complaints from people in his district.

"Not even a phone call about it," Gailey said.

Cane Creek is planned to be built next to Hagen Creek, a similar mega development approved by the commission in January near Lula.

Gailey said he thinks the commercial development in Cane Creek would be an important stepping stone for development in the area and will be beneficial for the county.

"In some sections of the county, a project like this would not work. This project fits very, very well in this area," Gailey said. "Lula’s been trying for years to get a grocery store up there."

Gailey also thinks the development would draw in people from other neighboring areas such as Banks County, which would help boost sales taxes.

"It’s going to draw people from other counties with potential dining opportunities and things like that," he said.

Longtime Lula resident Alvin Hicks said he is in favor of the development near his home town.

Hicks will attend the board of commissioners meeting, and plans to speak in favor of the development.

"I don’t think anyone will oppose it at the meeting (Thursday)," Hicks said. "I’m going to speak for it."

The Hagen Creek and Cane Creek developments have separate owners, but they are from the same Austrian family that has been harvesting timber on thousands of acres in the area since 1979.

The Cane Creek community is proposed on 1,135 acres along Ga. 365 and Ga. 52. Construction of the project would take place in phases over approximately 10 to 15 years, said John Vardeman of Morton Vardeman & Carlson, who is handling the publicity for development.

Plans for Cane Creek include residential space, retail and office space and even land for a college campus. The proposed commercial space could create an estimated 7,965 jobs when fully built out.

Though the development would primarily be commercial, it would feature 2,054 homes — a mixture of estate homes, townhouses, lofts and moderately priced homes.



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