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Couple withdraws request for equestrian facility

Business proposal had neighbors seeing red

POSTED: August 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

A group of Hall County residents wear red in opposition to a possible re-zoning in their community at Thursday afternoon's Hall County Commission meeting at the Georgia Mountains Center.

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After months of tension between neighbors, Lora Cushard’s request to operate an equestrian facility from her Murrayville home ended anticlimactically when she withdrew her rezoning request at Thursday’s Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting.

John Breakfield, attending in place of Cushard’s attorney Rob Chambers, addressed the commission on why the request was withdrawn.

"After previous tabling of this matter, Mr. Chambers met with many of the neighbors in an effort to reach a compromise solution. Unfortunately, those efforts did not bear fruit. Although Mrs. Cushard sees her request as reasonable and beneficial to Hall County, tonight, with the commission’s consent, Mrs. Cushard hereby withdraws her application for rezoning," Breakfield said. "It would be best for their neighborhood and their family to withdraw and hopefully end the bitterness that has come as a result of this application."

About 50 neighbors came to the meeting dressed in red, ready to voice their opposition to Cushard’s request. The group has attended all previous meetings when Cushard’s rezoning request was on the agenda.

Neighbors said they were pleased with the outcome of the issue.

"We maintained the integrity of our neighborhood," said Lake Shore Forest subdivision resident Johnny B. Smith. "And we will continue to do it in the future."

Smith said he did not want the Cushard family to feel uncomfortable with neighbors now that the issue has been resolved.

"We’re gonna try to reach out to them. We don’t want them to be totally ostracized," he said.

Another zoning issue also brought out many people opposed to having a business in their neighborhood.

Florence Drive residents were fed up after attending three years of meetings with the Gainesville City Council and the Hall County Board of Commissioners to fight Chang and Kyung Jung’s repeated requests to operate their Auto Gallery business near their homes.

The applicants were not present at the meeting, but neighbors voiced their concern about noise and poor upkeep of the Auto Gallery property.

"This has been an ongoing saga," said Douglas Young. "Auto Gallery has hardly been a good neighbor."

"Enough is enough," said Xiaoyan Yang, to resounding applause from her neighbors.

The board voted unanimously to deny the request.

Hall County was recognized for its restoration of the Black and Cooley drives area with the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing Award, presented by the Department of Community Affairs.



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