A large mixed-use development near Braselton is set to go before the Hall County Board of Commissioners Thursday, along with an ordinance regulating wireless technology that is a local response to a state law. Commissioners will also vote to authorize insurance coverage for the families of employees who die in the line of duty.
Reveille in South Hall
Reveille, a 509-acre mixed-use development near Braselton, will go before commissioners on Thursday.
Reveille would take about six to eight years to build and would have 482,415 square feet in retail space, 8.4 acres in outparcel development and a 175-room hotel.
The site is currently off a two-lane road, although Hall County has plans to widen Ga. 211 from Winder Highway/Ga. 53 to Friendship Road/Ga. 347 by 2030.
The plans have drawn both opposition and support from the community, although many have expressed concerns about the impact on traffic and local schools.
Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield has said that the school system has asked for a donated school site to address the impact.
Reveille is a scaled-back version of River Walk, a previously approved development at the property that would have had 1,261 homes, double the retail space and a man-made river.
Wireless technology ordinance
Hall County may adopt a new ordinance to regulate wireless technology such as antennas, mirroring a state law passed earlier this year. Commissioners will vote on the ordinance Thursday.
Under the new rules, any new, modified or replaced pole on a right of way zoned residential cannot be more than 50 feet tall. In areas that are not zoned residential, poles must be 50 feet or shorter, or within 10 feet in height of the highest pole within a 500-foot radius, whichever is higher.
The ordinance is a response to Senate Bill 66, a new state law that encourages companies to place small cell technology on existing poles. The technology will be useful in deploying broadband access to rural areas or allowing 5G technology to move in.
Commissioners had originally been scheduled to vote on the ordinance in June, but it was tabled to Thursday so planning staff could consider public input. Community members spoke at previous public hearings, saying they wanted to know more about the health effects of exposure to the technology, and they did not want to live near antennas.
The county has posted responses to these comments online. Those responses include a letter from Eric Swanson, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Pittsburgh.
Swanson notes that emissions from cell phones and wireless infrastructure are already regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, and 5G technology is not expected to be more of a risk.
“(5G) capabilities will enable smart city technology, the “internet of things,” mobile service on airplanes, remote medicine, and the machine-to-machine communication required for the robotic cars of the future. It will achieve these things by placing low power small cell wireless infrastructure close together and by employing more of the electromagnetic spectrum,” Swanson said in the letter. “… The emissions from cell phones and small cell wireless infrastructure are regulated by the FCC’s exposure standards that have withstood the test of time. … 5G technology presents no substantial risk to the general public, and certainly does not present risk that current regulations cannot manage.”
Event venue in Clermont
A farm in North Hall may be able to host events, if commissioners approve the proposal Thursday.
Applicant Michelle Gibbs wants to turn LL Farm at 5586 Ransom Free Road into an event venue for weddings and receptions. The 4.6-acre property has a 28,500-square-foot barn and a home that has been approved by the county to serve as a short-term rental.
The planning commission approved the idea July 15, the second time the proposal had gone to the planning commission. The commission first approved the venue June 3, but one of the property owners had not turned in a campaign contribution disclosure form, so the process started over.
The venue has gotten some opposition from nearby residents, who have said they are concerned about the noise and traffic the venue would bring to the rural area.
Hall County Board of Commissioners
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville