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Eagle Ranch passes hurdle in quest to expand
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Attorney Tyler Smith, representing Eagle Ranch, discusses the rezoning application Tuesday, Jan. 21, before the Hall County Planning Commission. - photo by Nick Watson

The Hall County Planning Commission voted Tuesday to approve the rezoning application for Eagle Ranch, a Christian-based organization working toward building a counseling and retreat center.

The staff recommended approval of the request to rezone from agricultural-residential to planned residential development 9.7 acres on the south side of Union Church Road near Oliver Road, asking. The proposed use of that area is the 12,000-square-foot James W. Webb Wings Center.

Eagle Ranch executive director and founder Eddie Staub said Tuesday, Jan. 21, they would like to begin construction in early summer and finish next year.

In discussing the proposal before the commission, attorney Tyler Smith discussed the Wings Center plan, which would have six offices for outpatient counseling services and would house the Wings Initiative.

According to Eagle Ranch’s website, the initiative works to “offer guidance to children’s programs and other nonprofits who are getting started or retooling their programs.”

The third purpose for the Wings Center would be four bedrooms to be used for marriage and counseling retreats on the lower level.

“That would happen, at most, one to two times per month,” Smith said.

One person spoke in favor of the proposal, with no one speaking to oppose the application.

The center is named after Eagle Ranch’s longest-serving board member of 30-plus years, Jim Webb, who died last year. Webb’s daughter recently told Staub that Webb always said he hoped they’d be able to do “more and more and more at Eagle Ranch.” 

The plan at Wings Center is to have a team of therapists to lead community counseling efforts for children and families who don’t currently need Eagle Ranch’s residential services.

The counseling at the Wings Center will be more family-focused when compared to what is offered at Eagle Ranch. It will also serve as a place for children who have returned to their families to receive more counseling as they ease back into life at home.

The planning commission’s recommendation will now go to the Hall County Board of Commissioners for final action at a 6 p.m. hearing Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Hall County Government Center.

Reporter Jeff Gill contributed to this report.

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