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City to hear public opinion on proposed subdivision
16 homes planned for lakeside property
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Gainesville City Council meeting

What: Public hearing on proposed subdivision
When: 5:30 p.m. today
Where: Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St., Gainesville

Gainesville residents have a chance to speak out tonight about a lakeside 16-lot subdivision proposed for a site in northern Hall County.

During the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, officials will hold a public hearing for any comment on the 8.27 acres that will feature single-family residences and a community boat dock on Ramsey Road near Kubota Manufacturing.

The city's planning and appeals board on Nov. 9 recommended approval of the request for Jordan and Jordan Properties to annex the property into the city for garbage pickup, road maintenance and water and sewage utilities.

"I think this will provide quality housing, and it's a different product than what is currently in the city," said Frank Norton Jr. of The Norton Agency, who represented Jordan and Jordan Properties during the Nov. 9 proposal and will be present at tonight's meeting.

"This would be some additional targeted and affordable residences with second home community prices between $300,000 and $500,000," Norton said.

"It fits well with the overall goals of the city and their targeted plan for community growth."

Residents would access the neighborhood from Ramsey Road. The homes, with a minimum of 1,800 square feet of heated floor space, would be built with brick and stone masonry.

The idea has been in the works since June 2007, when the property owners made a similar request but withdrew during the planning meeting when Kubota Manufacturing officials expressed concerns about increased residential traffic. Since then, part of Ramsey Road has been closed, and part of Sargent Road was expanded to White Sulphur Road. A Georgia Power easement separates the residential land from Kubota.

Though the original proposal included 18 units, the city's planning staff recommended a limitation of 16 lots to keep the density at two dwelling units per acre, as required under the comprehensive land use plan.

With nearby Kubota, the board also had one other condition: The owner or developer must disclose the existence of industrial activities on adjacent properties.

City planning staff suggested the disclosure should say the following: "Owners, occupants and users of property shown are hereby informed of the impacts associated with industrial practices which may take place on adjacent and nearby property including but not limited to noise, odors, dust, traffic and the operation of machinery. Therefore, owners, occupants and users of the property should be prepared to expect the effects of such practices."

No one spoke in opposition to the request in November, and Norton said he hopes the public hearing will move forward tonight without a problem.

"I believe, from everything we've heard, the community is being very supportive of the idea," he said.

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