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94-home subdivision in Flowery Branch gets first OK
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A 94-home development got the Flowery Branch City Council’s first approval Thursday night.

The development features 63 townhomes and 31 single-family homes between East Main Street and Phil Niekro Boulevard near the South Hall city’s downtown.

Chris Hill is seeking to rezone the 18.4-acre site from highway business to planned unit development to allow the residential development, Hillgrove Homes.

He said that if all goes well, he may start construction of homes in three months, and the development could be built out in 2 ½ years.

The development’s entrance would be off East Main, which sits between Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and Thurmon Tanner Parkway, two major roads slicing through Flowery Branch.

The neighborhood would feature common areas and a “mulch trail” running on the western boundary, according to a map of the property.

One resident questioned the subdivision having one entrance/exit.

“There was a proposal for a second entrance on Phil Niekro,” said Rich Atkinson, community development director. “Staff just thought Phil Niekro was a pretty busy road and as the areas around here develop, it’s going to be even busier.

“And frankly, I didn’t think that was real safe.”

Phil Niekro turns into Spout Springs Road as it travels under Interstate 985 about a half-mile from the subdivision.

The neighborhood also would be in a tax allocation district, an area where increases in property taxes resulting from new growth are invested in redevelopment projects.

“We have encouraged Mr. Hill to talk about an application to be filled out for that,” City Manager Bill Andrew told the council.

TAD money could help with stormwater costs and upgrading sidewalks or lighting in the development, Andrew said.

It also could be used “as a way of connectivity to downtown,” he said.

“The thought has been to look at East Main as a way of bringing people … into the Old Town area,” Andrew said. “We’d have the decorative lighting like we do on Railroad Avenue and Lights Ferry (Road), curb gutter and underground stormwater.”

He referred to another, 55-home residential development on East Main Street that has been approved by the council.

Flowery Branch has experienced something of a housing boom lately, with yet another residential project discussed during the council’s work session Thursday night.

A 67-home subdivision is proposed off McEver Road between Gainesville Street and Radford Road in Flowery Branch. The development would be on 21.3 acres — or three homes per acre.

A rezoning from agricultural-residential to planned unit development is being sought on the property, a wooded area near the McEver intersection at Gainesville Street and Jim Crow Road.

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