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Opponents can't keep Jackson County from approving new sports complex

POSTED: July 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.

JEFFERSONDespite a planning department error and opposition from a few residents, the proposed private sports complex in West Jackson is on its way to becoming a reality.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved a sports complex to be built on Ga. 124 near the Publix in Hoschton at the board’s bimonthly meeting Monday.

The board of commissioners originally approved the zoning for this complex at its April 21 meeting, but due to an error by the planning department in advertising the public hearing for the complex, the application for it had to go back before the planning commission and the board.

Larry Beck, the applicant for the complex, said it would be used for baseball, football and soccer games for Jackson County residents.

"There will be leagues that will be established ... They can come to the facility and pay to have tournaments," Beck said. "We’re hoping, praying, that the complex will be a profitable venture, as well as fill a void in the community."

Hoschton resident George Mandrona spoke in opposition of the complex, arguing that he and his neighbors don’t want the facility to be located so close to a residential area.

"It’s going to impact the whole neighborhood," Mandrona said. "It’s too much traffic, too much noise, too much light. ... I do not want this in my backyard."

Commissioner Dwain Smith and Chairwoman Pat Bell asked about teams agreeing not to bring drugs and alcohol into the park, to which Beck said the complex would have rules and regulations prohibiting those substances.

The board unanimously approved the applications to rezone the area and change that part of the land-use map of the county’s comprehensive plan from residential growth to community activity center.



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