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6 things Flowery Branch council will discuss at Aug. 5 meeting
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Flowery Branch City Hall is located at 5410 W. Pine St. - photo by Scott Rogers

A possible new downtown restaurant site, a proposed gas station at a busy intersection and industrial development of a long-vacant corner may be on the way in Flowery Branch.

The items, among others, are set for discussion by Flowery Branch City Council at its meeting Thursday, Aug. 6.

Here’s a brief look at each item.

Cabinet shop may be pushed as restaurant site

An old shop, Hamilton Cabinet & Shutters, at 5205 Railroad Ave. in the downtown area could become a restaurant.

The property is between Spring and Chestnut streets.

Kevin Hobgood is seeking to rezone the business from light industrial to central business district. He doesn’t have a user yet for the site but is requesting the rezoning so he can “market it as a restaurant-eligible site,” city planner Rich Atkinson said.

The new designation “may make it easier to market as opposed to the current light industrial zoning designation,” Atkinson said.

A public hearing is being held on the request, with a vote by council to be taken at a future meeting.

$30 million industrial development proposed

A long-vacant, highly visible lot could be the home of another industrial development.

The $30 million project calls for two buildings with a combined 336,960 square feet on nearly 38 acres off Thurmon Tanner Parkway and Phil Niekro Boulevard, near Interstate 985.

The land is part of an 85-acre tract between Thurmon Tanner and I-985.

“The property has been marketed as a retail development for many years and has not seen any development take place as currently zoned, suggesting there is not a reasonable economic use as currently zoned,” says Hines Acquisitions LLC in a letter to the city describing the industrial project.

“With global e-commerce sales up over 140% in the last five years, logistics and industrial real estate have become the new retail in many respects.”

Hines is seeking to rezone the property from highway business to light industrial. A tenant or tenants aren’t named in city documents.

If approved, the development would join many such projects underway in the Flowery Branch area, including Makita off Falcon Parkway near I-985.

A public hearing is being held on the request, with a vote by council to be taken at a future meeting.

Gas station proposed at McEver/Gaines Ferry intersection

A 6,006-square-foot retail building/gas station is proposed off McEver Road at Gaines Ferry Road.

The building on 2-plus acres at 6477 McEver Road would include a 4,158-square-foot convenience store and 1,848 square feet for other retail, according to a city document.

Specific users aren’t mentioned.

The property owner, Blessing Trader Inc., is specifically seeking a variance on the property to be able to install gas pumps.

A public hearing is being held on the request, with a vote by council to be taken at a future meeting.

Rock quarry hopes to expand operations

Vulcan Materials Co.’s rock quarry is seeking to grow by nearly 30 acres.

The company is seeking to add property off Friendship and Hog Mountain Roads, which surround the quarry at 4195 Friendship Road, along with Blackjack Road.

Two parcels being leased to residents will remain occupied, while remaining parcels are vacant, according to city documents.

The “proposed use is for aggregate mining and associated production of asphalt and concrete, more specifically, storage.”

“The improvements will extend the quarry’s operational life and create a sustainable buffer between the operations and community,” the company says.

Specifically, Vulcan is seeking annexation of the properties and rezoning from agricultural to a manufacturing category with a conditional use permit to operate a quarry.

A public hearing is being held on the request, with a vote by council to be taken at a future meeting.

Townhome proposal resurfaces on McEver Road

A McEver Road townhome proposal pulled earlier this summer by the developer is back on the table.

“The site plan is pretty much the same,” said Tommy Barnes, representing applicant Fall Leaf Residential LLC. 

“We did reduce the number of lots from 173 to 167,” he said in an email. “Also, we are leaving a strip of land along the railroad in the county so that our annexation will not create an island of county land across the railroad.”

Fall Leaf is seeking annexation of parcels at 6495 McEver Road and 6509 McEver Road totaling 25 acres and rezoning from Hall County agricultural and highway business to Flowery Branch multi-family residential.

Hall County objected to the original application, with Fall Leaf agreeing to reduce density and the number of entrances to the development from two to one. The matter was to go before an arbitration panel, where an agreement between Hall and the developer was “anticipated,” Flowery Branch City Attorney Ron Bennett said in June.

But then, Fall Leaf pulled the proposal.

Prices haven’t been determined yet.

Both a public hearing and a vote by council are scheduled.

Raise for council members, mayor gets last vote

A final vote on a raise for City Council and the mayor is set.

The council gave its first OK July 15 to bump up the mayor’s pay from $500 monthly to $750 and council members’ pay from $400 monthly to $600, with the increases taking effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Council members have supported the raise in public comments.

“$400 is an absolute steal for a city councilman,” Councilman Joe Anglin said. “And $500 is a ridiculous steal for a mayor.”

Mayor Mike Miller said he believes the raise is warranted as the city has seen tremendous growth since 1995, when council and mayor got its last raise.

Flowery Branch City Council

What: A busy agenda, including actions involving proposed developments

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5

Where: Flowery Branch City Hall, 5410 W. Pine St.

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