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Despite resident concerns, gas station and convenience store gets initial approval
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Residents attend the Hall County Planning Commission meeting Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.

Nearby residents showed up to oppose a gas station and convenience store on McEver and Lights Ferry roads that would be adjacent to some homes. 

The applicant, Casey Walker/CSC Properties LLC, is requesting to rezone 3.63 acres at 5820 McEver Road from agricultural residential to highway business. The gas station would include a canopy, regular gas pumps and larger diesel stations for RVs and vehicles towing boat trailers, according to planning documents. 

Planning staff recommended approval of the application. 

Residents of the adjacent Silverthorn subdivision turned out at the Hall County Planning Commission’s meeting Monday, Sept. 20, to oppose the development. Seven residents spoke, listing concerns such as increased traffic, water runoff, interference with their nearby neighborhood pool and lack of safety. The neighborhood’s pool and park area is adjacent to the property.

The proposed operating hours of the convenience store are 6 a.m. to midnight, which residents said was too late and would interfere too much with their lives. Multiple residents said there were enough convenience stores and gas stations in the area already. 

Lila Weaver, who lives in Silverthorn, presented a PowerPoint to the commission, detailing concerns and asking to have the item tabled so the developer could consider changes and meet with neighbors.

District 1 Commissioner Trey Bell motioned to approve the application with conditions including allowing only one entrance on McEver Road, requiring a six-foot fence on a three-foot berm and adding additional screening between the property and residents with fast-growing evergreen trees. 

The commission ultimately voted to approve the application in a 3-1 vote with Commissioner Gina Pilcher as the sole dissenting vote. Pilcher said the application required a lot of conditions to make work and the intersection of Lights Ferry and McEver would remain “troublesome.”

Weaver said after the meeting she was not surprised by the commission’s approval and was “not anywhere near” satisfied with its conditions. 

The application will go before the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a final decision on Oct. 28.

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