Glenda Capps sees the proposed Reveille project in South Hall as “turning old, dead land into a thriving community.”
Another resident, Patricia Ellis, worried about traffic impacts, wrote in an email to Hall County, “If this is allowed to happen, there are no words that I can think of to describe the chaos that will result.”
The first public airing of the proposal is set for Monday, May 20, as the project goes before the Hall County Planning Commission.
Reveille Development Partners LLC is looking to amend conditions that were placed on the former Atlanta River Walk project, which was approved in August 2016.
Primarily, the man-made river that was the centerpiece of the $700 million Atlanta River Walk isn’t in the new plans. Also gone is a theater, convention center, grocery store and one of two hotels, and retail has been drastically trimmed.
Overall, the new $500 million Reveille is much more housing-oriented than Atlanta River Walk, increasing the number of residential units from 1,261 to 1,969.
The site “is a great fit for the project and our vision,” project spokesman Al Maiorino said in an email last week.
“The size and attributes of the property can accommodate the green space and amenity experience we are creating — which greatly complements the ‘hometown’ feel of the residential units and commercial theme.”
The project, Maiorino said, “will be authentically southern and have a feel not before offered in Atlanta, and Braselton is in a great location for this.”
Reveille has won over Capps, who lives at the north end of the project near Winder Highway/Ga. 53.
“We're excited about the convenience,” she said. “It will bring on some shopping (options).”
Also, the development, with its sidewalks and activities, promotes “a much healthier living experience,” Capps said.
Another resident, Joy Basham, said she appreciates the project’s coastal theme and the developer’s “excitement for what they want to bring.”
However, she has many concerns, including traffic impacts along Ga. 211, which runs between Winder Highway/Ga. 53 in Chestnut Mountain and Interstate 85 past the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort — a busy, fast-growing corridor.
The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce also cites traffic as one of several concerns in a letter to the Gainesville-based Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, which conducted an impact study on the project.
The chamber and its Economic Development Council “are not yet in favor or opposed to this development,” the letter says.
The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission “did not find that the proposed project presents any potential adverse interjurisdictional impacts,” according to Hall County’s staff report on the project.
The development is in a southernmost corner of Hall, so it’s also near Jackson, Gwinnett and Barrow counties.
The agency does say “close coordination” with Hall County’s lead transportation planning agency, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Georgia Department of Transportation “is encouraged to ensure the (intersections) with major arterial roads are properly upgraded to maintain levels of service.”
The agency notes that Reveille’s plans “imply” Howington Road would be extended from Ga. 211 toward Ga. 53, but “there is no formal indication of where this would occur.”
Project plans include improvements at the development’s access points off Ga. 211, including a traffic signal at Union Church Road.
Hall County planning staff is “recommending that the developer work with the Hall County engineering and/or GDOT in determining the road improvements necessary to serve this development.”
The regional commission also noted that “any adverse environmental impacts will flow downstream and immediately affect neighboring Jackson County.”
“This means the developer and Hall County must be mindful that any erosion and sedimentation issues or stream contamination will immediately impact the adjoining jurisdiction,” the agency said.
The project also has drawn the attention of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Reveille “should adequately address the impacts of the proposed development on stormwater runoff and downstream water quality,” the agency said.
“During construction, the project should conform to the relevant state and federal erosion and sedimentation control requirements. After construction, as with all development, water quality may be impacted due to polluted stormwater runoff.”
Planning staff recommends approval of the project with several conditions, including that fast-food restaurants with a drive-thru must first get the OK from the Hall County Board of Commissioners.
Also, a sound barrier must be built on the southeast side of Road Atlanta, which neighbors the property, and “owners and users of this property are informed of motor raceway venues nearby and should expect noise, crowds and other effects associated with such venues.”
The planning board’s decision is only a recommendation to the county commission, which would have final say on the matter. The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the project June 13.
Hall County Planning Commission
What: Reveille project proposing nearly 2,000 homes off Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 in South Hall
When: 5:15 p.m. Monday, May 20
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
Reveille vs. River Walk
Reveille (current proposal)
Number of homes: 1,969
Retail space: 482,415 square feet
Outparcel acres: 8.4
Hotel units: 175 (one hotel)
River Walk (former proposal)
Number of homes: 1,261
Retail space: 903,600 square feet
Outparcel acres: 7.78
Hotel units: 325 (combined between two hotels)
Source: Hall County Planning Department