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186-home development off Spout Springs Road gets initial OK
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A 186-lot subdivision planned off busy Spout Springs Road in South Hall got the Hall County Planning Commission’s recommendation for approval Monday night.

JH Homes’ application to rezone 102 acres west of Spout Springs near Quincy Drive for the development now goes to the Hall County Board of Commissioners for final action Oct. 13.

The planning board’s recommendation came with several conditions, including that before the developer gets a permit to start the project, it must design entrance and exit “points to accommodate the road widening improvements for Spout Springs Road.”

Cameron Henderson, president of JH Homes, told the board motorists would only be able to turn right into or right out of the subdivision.

He said he would like to have median access to the subdivision when the new four-lane road is built. “That’s obviously not on you guys,” Henderson told the board.

Spout Springs is one of Hall’s busiest roads, lined with subdivisions, churches and schools. It also is bookended by commercial developments in Braselton and Flowery Branch.

“School traffic backs up all the way to that (area) every morning right now and stops,” said Royce Cole, who lives just north of the proposed development. “My biggest concern is the protection of my property.”

Hall County officials said in August they now expect the road’s widening to start two years earlier than expected.

The project will be done in phases, with the first phase focusing on Spout Springs between Interstate 985 and Union Circle. Construction is set to begin in fiscal 2019.

Right of way acquisition and construction from Union Circle to just south of Friendship Road/Ga. 347 is expected to follow the first phase, officials have said.

JH Homes’ subdivision, which would be just south of Union Circle and north of Deaton Henry Road, would fall in the second phase.

The property used to belong to Hall County, which had used the land as a spray field for its Spout Springs sewer treatment plant. The county now discharges into Lollis Creek.

“We will share an entrance with the county to still service the treatment plant,” Henderson said.

Also, “all lots will be served by Hall County sanitary sewer and city of Gainesville water,” JH Homes’ application states.

The developer initially had a contract on the Cole property and got as far as the Hall County commission’s rezoning approval for a subdivision there.

However, “we went in with 159 lots and ended up with 109 lots, and we couldn’t make the numbers work at that point,” Henderson said after the meeting.

Cole alluded to the fallen deal during his comments to the planning board.

“These same guys bought it last year, and then they backed out on it and bought the county property instead,” said Cole, who declined to comment after the meeting.

If JH Homes gets the commission’s approval, it could start developing the subdivision in early 2017, Henderson said.