Update, Nov. 12: This item has been tabled to the Hall County Board of Commissioners' Dec. 10 meeting.
Update, Nov. 9: The applicant has requested to table this item until the Dec. 10 Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting, according to Planning Director Sarah McQuade. Commissioners will vote Thursday, Nov. 12, on whether to table the item.
Update, Oct. 19: The Hall County Planning Commission voted Monday, Oct. 19, to approve this development, with a maximum of 220 apartments and 85 townhomes. Planning commissioners Johnny Varner and Gina Pilcher voted to deny the request, and all other commissioners voted in favor.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners will have the final vote Thursday, Nov. 12.
A proposal for nearly 400 apartments and townhomes off Spout Springs Road in South Hall may be scaled back, as Hall County planners are urging the developer to shrink the project’s size.
Winder-based Ridgeline Land Planning Inc. Initially was seeking 274 apartments and 124 townhomes but in a meeting Monday, Oct. 5, before the Hall County Planning Commission had chopped the numbers to 240 apartments and up to 110 townhomes.
“Is that your bottom number that you would consider?” Hall County Planning Commissioner Frank Sosebee asked Holt Persinger of Ridgeline at the board’s meeting Monday, Oct. 5.
“On both or the townhomes?” Persinger asked.
“Both,” Sosebee said.
Persinger said he could drop the number of townhomes to 100 in the 40-acre development at 7285 Spout Springs Road, near the massive Reunion subdivision in South Hall.
Ridgeline was trying to convince the planning board to recommend rezoning the property to allow the development to the Hall County Board of Commissioners. The board ended up delaying a vote until Oct. 19 to give Ridgeline more time to produce project renderings, a construction timeline, more detailed landscape drawings and adjusted apartment and townhome numbers.
Planning Commission Chairman Chris Braswell said the extra time would enable Ridgeline to “sharpen their pencil and their numbers a little bit more.”
He said he was comfortable with 100 or so townhomes, but “maybe we can work on the (number of) apartment units, however they want to do that.”
Several residents spoke against the proposal at the meeting, saying they believed the project was too dense. They also said they were concerned about traffic the project would generate, noting that the widening of Spout Springs Road past the project may be several years away.
Ridgeline’s application also includes a two-page report from a traffic engineering firm, Marc R. Acampora, P.E. LLC, that says the development would generate “151 new trips in the morning peak hour, 189 new trips in the evening peak hour and 2,390 new daily trips.”
Traffic is building all along Spout Springs between Braselton and Flowery Branch, as nearby thoroughfares see roadwork.
The road is being widened between Hog Mountain Road and Union Circle, ending about 2 miles north of Ridgeline’s proposed development. Hall County is looking to widen Spout Springs in a second phase from Union Circle to the Gwinnett County line, but that project may be years away.
Right of way acquisition on the second phase is projected to begin in the fall of 2023, according to Hall County. That means, if the right of way process takes the same amount of time as it did on phase one, construction might not start until two years later, or 2025.