Gainesville residents will have a new option for lakeside property with a new 16-lot subdivision coming to Ramsey Road near Kubota Manufacturing.
The city's planning and appeals board approved a request Tuesday for Jordan and Jordan Properties to annex 8.27 acres to build a single-family residential subdivision with a community boat dock.
The idea has been in the works since June 2007, when the property owners made the same request but withdrew during the planning meeting when Kubota Manufacturing officials expressed concerns about increased residential traffic. Since then, part of Ramsey Road has been closed, and part of Sargent Road was expanded to White Sulphur Road. A Georgia Power easement separates the residential land from Kubota.
"I've been asked several times in the past few weeks, ‘Why a subdivision today?'" said Frank Norton Jr. of The Norton Agency, representing Jordan and Jordan Properties. "It's about micro markets. Today in this region there is a five-month supply of homes with a boat dock under $500,000 and demand is super strong. For homes over $1 million, there is a 12-year supply."
Under current economic trends, consumers are looking for well-built homes of an average size in a good community with access to Lake Lanier, he said.
"That means fewer mansions," Norton said. "This proposed development fits in the city's plan for recreational lifestyle community. The owners purchased this land in the 1970s and have been patient for the market to develop."
Residents would gain access to the neighborhood from Ramsey Road, and garbage pick up, road maintenance, and water and sewer would come from the city. The homes, with a minimum of 1,800 square feet of heated floor space, would be built with brick and stone masonry.
Though the original proposal included 18 units, the city's planning staff recommended a limitation of 16 lots to keep the density at two dwelling units per acre, as required under the comprehensive land use plan.
The city staff also suggested an additional boat dock shouldn't be created because the proposed plan locates it within the Georgia Power easement.
"The boat yard proposed is considerate in the way that boats wouldn't be stored in front of the houses," Norton said. "It's a safe and clean area that families could put their structures. I wish I had that in my own neighborhood."
The planning board agreed to allow a boat parking lot if Georgia Power agrees to it.
The board approved the 16-home subdivision unanimously with another condition. The owner or developer must disclose the existence of industrial activities on adjacent properties with nearby Kubota Manufacturing.
City planning staff suggested the disclosure should say the following: "Owners, occupants and users of property shown are hereby informed of the impacts associated with industrial practices which may take place on adjacent and nearby property including but not limited to noise, odors, dust, traffic and the operation of machinery. Therefore, owners, occupants and users of the property should be prepared to expect the effects of such practices."
Asked about a time frame for the neighborhood, Norton wasn't quite sure.
"Once this is approved, the owners must decide whether to go forward or find an investor," he said. "There are no immediate plans with the property."
On Thursday, Hall County commissioners will consider a request for another neighborhood with boat storage. Bells Mill Landing LLC is requesting to rezone 26.25 acres for a 50-lot subdivision off Cleveland Highway and Indian Trail. The lots would feature homes with 5,000 square feet, sodded front lawns, two-car garages, stone and brick facades and an area with a swimming pool, tennis court and pavilion.