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South Hall residents give their input on Hall’s efforts to update development code
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Woody Giles, of TSW Planners Architects Landscape Architects, delivers a presentation Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the Mulberry Creek Park and Community Center on possible new Hall County development codes. - photo by Scott Rogers

With the way Hall County is growing, Greg Hill expects that interest in his property off Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 will only get stronger.

“At some point, we’re going to get bought up,” he said of his 5 acres that backs up to farmland. “That’s what I feel. I feel the area will be redeveloped.”

A concern over development standards is what brought Hill to a community meeting Tuesday, May 11, at the Mulberry Creek Community Center in South Hall.

The county held meetings Monday, May 10, and Tuesday in an effort to gather public input for a Unified Development Code, a document of development regulations officials hope to complete later this year.

“I approve of these efforts — putting down in black and white what you can do and what you can’t do, and you don’t get the cronyism,” Hill said.

Development map

For information about other area developments, view this map.

The code “determines what kind of development happens in unincorporated  Hall County, where it can be built, and how dense it is,” Planning Director Sarah McQuade has said. “A UDC also controls how development looks and works, including things like building materials, parking and landscaping.”

Hall says it has several goals in the effort, including promoting economic growth, avoiding “unnecessarily strict” regulations, making regulations easier to understand, ensuring high-quality development and balancing the preservation of farms, natural spaces and historic places with residents’ property rights.

The efforts drew some concerns at the public meetings, including that the end result could mean an increase in taxes and more government control.

Hall County says on a county website devoted to the effort that some “minor rezonings” might result as part of the effort. In that case, “property owners would be notified in advance of any potential rezonings,” the county says.

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Visitors to the Hall County Planning Department public meeting view displays Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the Mulberry Creek Park and Community Center on proposed Hall County development codes. - photo by Scott Rogers

A primary aim of the effort is to clean up and make development regulations more understandable, the county says.

McQuade said that public comments will be factored into the process.

“Consultants are going to take the feedback and start drafting the rewrite of these different chapters we have (in current regulations),” she said. 

The code was developed in 1978 and has been updated through the years but in no comprehensive way, McQuade said.

So, when certain uses have come up, such as agri-entertainment venues, “we just added sections to the code,” she said. “We didn’t actually look at how it fit in with the code.” 

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