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Hall proposes changing name of Friendship Road
Public hearings to be held Feb. 14 and 28
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Friendship Road could be no more if Hall County government has its way.

The county is looking to change the name of the South Hall road, which runs between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway and includes a new Ga. 347 alignment, to Lanier Islands Parkway.

The Hall County Planning Commission is set to consider the matter at its Jan. 22 meeting, set for 5:15 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

At one time, Ga. 347 was Friendship Road, Holiday Road and Thompson Mill Road between Lake Lanier Islands and Ga. 211.

Then, in January 2010, the Hall County Board of Commissioners changed the name to Lanier Islands Parkway between the resort and I-985.

“One name, in and of itself, provides some clarity,” said then-Planning Director Randy Knighton, who is now the county administrator.

Ga. 347 “is in the Lake Lanier Islands area and (officials) want to drive tourists to the (resort), since that is such a big economic engine,” said Katie Crumley, Hall County’s spokeswoman, explaining the rationale behind the proposed name change.

“By continuing that name across Ga. 347, that would only spur more visits to Lake Lanier Islands and promote that business, which is bringing in a lot of tax money to Hall County.”

Srikanth Yamala, Hall’s planning director, sent a letter Dec. 20 to 195 property owners along the road, including the new alignment, about the proposed name change, Crumley said.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has widening projects — divided into two phases — under way along Ga. 347 between McEver Road and Ga. 211. The work includes a new stretch of roadway between Spout Springs Road and Ga. 211.

The letter lists public hearing dates and times on the matter.

After the planning board, the matter then moves to the county board of commissioners for public hearings on Feb. 14 and Feb. 28.

“We encourage commercial property owners to inform their respective tenants of the proposed name change,” Yamala says in the letter.

Friendship Road is mostly residential, except for an area around Spout Springs. Friendship Elementary School is on the road, as well as the site of the planned Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.

Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT’s District 1, which includes Hall County, said the matter doesn’t need any clearance from the DOT.

“Local road names are a local issue, not GDOT’s,” she said.

However, the DOT would charge the county for any new signs featuring the new name along the roadway, Pope said.

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