Update, Sept. 23: The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the McKinley Homes proposal on Spout Springs Road with some conditions, knocking down the number of single-family detached homes from 279 to 265 homes and reducing the number of townhomes from 114 to 100.
Update, Aug. 16: The massive Reunion subdivision in South Hall was given initial approval Monday night to add 144 homes but without a cut-through road that had been hotly contested by Reunion residents.
The Hall County Planning Commission’s Aug. 16 vote delighted residents who applauded the decision and exchanged high fives as they left the packed meeting room.
A 166-acre development featuring a 393-home subdivision and 20,000 square feet of retail space off Spout Springs Road also took a step closer to reality Monday, Aug. 16.
The Hall County Planning Commission gave its OK to Peachtree-based McKinley Homes’ request to build the South Hall development at 6863 Spout Springs Road and 6803 Spout Springs Road, south of Union Circle and across from Lancaster subdivision.
The project now goes before the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a public hearing and final vote on Sept. 23.
“We believe the proposed mixed-use plan and convenient location provides for the housing needs of a growing, diverse population with attractive, attached, pedestrian-scaled” housing, said Bill Schmidt, McKinley’s vice president of land acquisition, in a letter that’s part of Hall County planning documents.
One sticking point for the planning board was the minimum lot size for the townhomes that are part of the project. The developer is seeking 2,000 square feet, but planning board members said they preferred 2,400 square feet. The board ended up suggesting “staggering” sizes of units as a condition for the development.
The development calls for 114 townhomes and 279 single-family detached homes.
Also proposed is commercial space that would “be an integral part of the community and provide an opportunity to create a neat, walkable neighborhood retail area for our residents and nearby communities,” Schmidt said.
The development would be built just south of a stretch of Spout Springs Road that’s being widened from two to four lanes.
Hall County is widening Spout Spring from Hog Mountain Road to Union Circle, with completion set for December. A second phase running from Union Circle to Thompson Mill Road in Braselton is planned, with right of way acquisition planned to start this fall.
Rhonda McKinney jokes about how she retired from AT&T in June and took on another full-time job — as organizer of opposition to a 144-home expansion of Reunion subdivision off Spout Springs Road in South Hall.
It’s a proposal that’s going before the Hall County Planning Commission Monday, Aug. 16, and likely to draw a throng of residents.
But the Reunion proposal at 7013, 7095 and 7099 Spout Springs Road isn’t the only major Spout Springs project on the agenda.
All this comes just months after the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted to approve 225 townhomes at 7285 Spout Springs Road between Reunion and Braselton.
So, if the Reunion addition and McKinley development are eventually approved, that would mean another 762 homes on a 2-mile stretch of Spout Springs Road, which basically connects Flowery Branch to Braselton.
For McKinney, the growth brings back memories of living near Pleasant Hill Road in Gwinnett County.
“I feel like Spout Springs is becoming another Pleasant Hill … and that’s not attractive,” she said.
Residents largely don’t oppose the new rezoning or the addition of homes off Spout Springs, but they said repeatedly during a July 22 meeting with the developer, Pulte, they do not want the expansion to connect with Reunion and use Reunion amenities.
The plan would add a road that would connect the new expansion to Grand Reunion Drive, one of the neighborhood’s major interior roads, which leads to the country club.
Jason Garrett, Pulte’s vice president of land and planning development, was asked why the expansion had to be connected to Reunion rather than building it as a standalone subdivision with its own amenities and no access to Grand Reunion Drive.
“We see an inherent value,” Garrett said. “We’ve invested a ton of money in Reunion, and we think Reunion is a fantastic place. We’re just exercising our right to extend Reunion … and we’re trying to mitigate the impact of these additional homes.”
McKinley Homes also is excited about the prospect of its development.
“We believe the proposed mixed-use plan and convenient location provides for the housing needs of a growing, diverse population with attractive, attached, pedestrian-scaled” housing, said Bill Schmidt, McKinley’s vice president of land acquisition, in a letter to Hall County officials.
All the projects would be built south of Union Circle, where the first phase of a Spout Springs widening project ends. Spout Springs is being widened from two to four lanes between Union Circle and Hog Mountain Road, with a Georgia Department of Transportation completion date of December 2021.
Srikanth Yamala, Hall’s director of public works and utilities, said the county is working on hiring a consultant this fall to start on right of way acquisition for the second widening phase, which would run from Union Circle to Thompson Mill Road in Braselton.
Also concerning the second phase, “we are still exploring construction dollars,” Yamala said.