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Home Town plans to be considered

Subdivision scales back, but county still unsure

POSTED: December 22, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Although Hall County has undergone staggering growth in recent years, District 2 Commissioner Billy Powell said Monday that North Hall won’t see as much development in the near future as originally planned.

The Hall County Commission met on Monday to discuss potential development in North Hall. And according to Powell, developers are scaling back their plans.

Two large subdivisions were originally slated for a rezoning consideration at the County Commission’s voting session on Thursday. Rochester & Associates had planned to construct the 54-acre Creekside Farm development, located on Tomacheche Trail, with 54 residential lots or 70 age-restricted lots. But Rochester & Associates pulled their plan from the County Commission’s rezoning agenda Monday.

"The Rochester plan was withdrawn (Monday). ... They want to further study and reconsider their options," Powell said.

The most controversial residential development is the 418-acre Home Town development, which proposes the construction of roughly 608 residential units, a day care center, boat storage and multiple office and retail centers, and is still on the agenda for a rezoning consideration at Thursday’s County Commission board meeting.

The Home Town development project, which is planned for the north side of Price Road in Northwestern Hall County, has been greatly reduced in size by the developer, United Central Investments, since its inception.

In June, United Central Investments revealed a plan that called for more than 1,240 homes on a more than 600-acre site. The initial design also planed for an elementary school on 14 acres, as well as nearly 38,000 square feet of commercial space.

In addition, the original plan called for a four-lane road from Saris Road to Yellow Creek Road to bear the influx of traffic generated by the development.

But according to Powell, the new four-lane plan does not connect to Yellow Creek Road. Hall County Planning Director Randy Knighton added that the new plan does not provide the Home Town development with direct access to Yellow Creek Road.

Since June, the County Commission has delayed the vote on rezoning the site to planned residential and commercial development month after month. Knighton said that after the commission grants the applicant’s rezoning request, the developer may take action to build accordingly.

Even with United Central Investments’ re-adjusted plan to cut residential development in the Home Town subdivision in half, nearby residents have maintained significant opposition to the more than 600 planned homes.

Knighton said 55 Hall County residents attended the Nov. 19 planning commission meeting to voice their disapproval of the Home Town development. The county planning director said he has personally received approximately 20 e-mails from residents opposing the Home Town development.

"Some of the citizens mentioned at a public hearing that what has been primarily a rural area is growing larger with subdivisions, and this certainly would be a very large one," Knighton said.

Knighton said if approved, the Home Town subdivision would be one of the largest in northwest Hall.

Although the planning commission recommended the County Commission approve the Home Town development with a 5-0 vote, County Commissioners and staff said they expect a large opposing turnout for the final rezoning vote at 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Georgia Mountains Center. "I anticipate there will be a pretty huge crowd," Powell added.

On Thursday, the County Commission will consider rezoning the 418-acre property on Price Road from agricultural and residential and vacation cottage to planned residential and commercial development.



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