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Limestone Parkway development plan pulled - for now
Builder may reapply after sewer service denial made project 'not viable'
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The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board votes to approve the annexation request of a large mixed-use development off of Limestone Parkway in Gainesville, on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. The developer has since asked to have its application withdrawn. - photo by David Barnes

The Gainesville City Council approved the withdrawal of a request for a commercial development at the intersection of Limestone and Jesse Jewell parkways on Tuesday.

Gainesville’s Planning and Appeals Board had previously approved the annexation and zoning request for up to 189,400 square feet of restaurant, retail, office and hotel space on an almost 34-acre lot. The development, which would have been called Limestone Greenway, was proposed for a currently vacant lot near Gainesville Middle School and the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center.

In an email sent to city officials on June 28, developer Wendell Starke said that without sewer service, the portion of the project that would have remained in Hall County rather than being annexed into Gainesville became “not viable.” According to that email, the city declined to provide sewer service to that county land, where Starke had been hoping to possibly build a residential development.

Starke said in the email that targeted retailers for the commercial development included Apple, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks. He compared the proposed property to Avalon, a multi-use complex in Alpharetta.

Starke said he hoped to continue working with the city to find a “mutually acceptable solution” that would allow the development to move forward.

The council’s vote Tuesday allows Starke to reapply if he wants to amend the development and bring it before the city again.

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