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Hall commission to hear planning items in staggered format
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Renovations are underway Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, inside the New Holland community center. A company wants to bring social life back to the old New Holland community center, using it for social events, such as weddings and birthday parties. The center is now mostly vacant, except for a physical therapy clinic. - photo by Scott Rogers

Planning and zoning items tend to come in big numbers and draw big crowds — something the Hall County Board of Commissioners hopes to remedy next week with staggered meeting times, especially as COVID-19 continues to rage.

The meetings are set at specific times between 4 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, and at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

The unusual move was approved Monday, Jan. 11, by the commission, which otherwise had been scheduled to hear all 10 planning items at its Jan. 14 meeting.

“The motion was made in an effort to continue providing services while ensuring the safety of the citizens, officials and staff of Hall County as a result of the increase of COVID-19 cases within the region,” said Sarah McQuade, Hall’s planning director, in an email earlier this week.

Staff “has reviewed the agenda items and has assigned each item a specific meeting time that will allow physical distancing guidelines to be followed while still conducting the public hearings,” she said.

As part of the move, officials sent a letter to people living within 500 feet of the property up for consideration before the commission. The letter mentions the new time and date for the public hearing, and it explains that the change was made because of virus concerns.

Residents have the option of viewing the hearing online at hallcounty.org/1097/Online-Meetings and submitting written comments, according to the county.

Here’s a look at a few of the items on the schedule and when they will be heard by the commission:

Hall County Board of Commission

  • What: 10 planning and zoning items set to be heard in staggered schedule
  • When: 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, and at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28
  • Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
  • Virtual option: Residents can also watch the meetings online at hallcounty.org.

226 townhomes proposed off Spout Springs Road

The application for a South Hall neighborhood of 226 townhomes is set to be heard at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Winder-based Ridgeline Land Planning Inc. initially planned 274 apartments and 124 townhomes for a 40-acre property at 7285 Spout Springs Road


100-home subdivision proposed in South Hall

The application for a 100-home subdivision in South Hall is set to be heard at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Aspen Holdings Atlanta is asking to rezone roughly 38.45 acres from agricultural-residential to planned residential development for the subdivision at 5991 Swansey Road.

Brian Rochester of Rochester and Associates, a Gainesville engineering firm representing Aspen, has said homes in the area would be in the $300,000-400,000 price range.


Events venue sought at historic community center

New Holland Parlor’s request for an events venue at the century-old New Holland recreation center at 100 Spring St. is set to be heard at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

New Holland Parlor, is seeking a rezoning from planned office development to planned commercial development so it can pursue “recreational and/or cultural uses of a commercial nature.”

“The portion of the property being proposed as the recreational and/or cultural portion of the property are unoccupied rooms which were cleaned out and had permits pulled for HVAC and electrical by licensed contractors,” states a Hall County planning staff report.


Regional events