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Flowery Branch considers more homes at Sterling on the Lake
More houses such as these in Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch would be built in the subdivision if the developer, Newland Communities, gets approval of an annexation request.

Public hearing

Here are details on the Flowery Branch City Council’s public hearing regarding Sterling on the Lake:

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Hall, 5517 Main St.

Contact: 770-967-6371

The developer of Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch is seeking to add about 100 more acres and 200 more homes to the neighborhood, bringing the total of potential homes that could be built to 2,000.

The Flowery Branch City Council intends to present the plans in a public hearing set for 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 5517 Main St.

In 2001, Newland Communities was given the approval to build up to 1,788 homes on 900 acres.

Some 2,300 homes originally were planned for the subdivision off Spout Springs Road.

Newland, which is based nationally in San Diego and has an office in Duluth, now proposes to add a 77.7-acre tract and a 27-acre tract. Both tracts are off Capital Farm Road and near Bragg Road.

A newly reconfigured master plan shows Newland would build 1,964 homes on nearly 1,000 acres.

"The density is not changing from the original approval of two (houses) per acre," said James Riker, planning director for Flowery Branch.

Newland is seeking rezoning of the tracts to planned unit development from an agricultural residential category.

In addition, Newland is proposing to change its plans to include four additional acres for commercial development at Lake Sterling Boulevard and Spout Springs Road, or across from the Hall County Library System’s Spout Springs branch.

That area had been intended for homes.

"Having homes that close to Spout Springs Road, given at some point it will be widened (to four lanes), wasn’t the best idea," Riker said.

Also, as part of a the master plan revision request, Newland is seeking to convert two lots within the development, now used as a 1.1-acre information center/sales office, "for future neighborhood commercial uses," according to the application.

Patrick Clark, vice president and general manager for Newland’s Eastern region, said the subdivision now has 550 occupied homes.

The national economic downturn "certainly has slowed development and sales down considerably," he said.

Newland does "get a fair bit of inquiries," however, about commercial development, Clark said.

The neighborhood has an existing 8-acre commercial tract at the corner of Spout Springs and Capitola Farm roads.

"It’s a very attractive location (that) has the added benefit of residents being in place," Clark said.

Regional events