The Hall County Planning Commission voted to approve two developments on Monday: a 23-lot subdivision in North Hall and a hardware store at the intersection of Dawsonville Highway and Venture Drive.
The commission’s recommendation will now go to the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a final vote on Sept. 13.
Commission members Don Smallwood, Bo Brooks and Chris Braswell, the three who attended Monday’s meeting, all approved both items.
Ace Hardware on Dawsonville Highway
The commission approved a 12,000-square-foot Ace Hardware store at the intersection of Dawsonville Highway and Venture Drive in Gainesville, adding the condition that there would not be an exit from the store onto Venture Drive after some residents expressed concerns.
The approximately four-acre property is currently occupied by a motel that is vacant and has not had an active business license since 1998.
Residents of the Venture Drive area spoke in opposition to the store at Monday’s meeting, saying they were concerned about traffic, especially large trucks, coming in and out of the store and making it difficult to access their neighborhood.
Steve Haarmann noted that Venture Drive is the only access point for homes in that neighborhood.
“We’re very concerned about having tractor trailers coming in and out, one a week, trying to turn left,” he said. “It’s going to hold up traffic in the neighborhood.”
The planning commission added the recommendation that the store would not have an exit onto Venture Drive after hearing residents’ concerns.
Subdivision on Mount Vernon Road
The planning commission also approved a 23-lot subdivision on Mount Vernon Road near the intersection with Ben Parks Road. Commission members added the condition that the homes would be at least 2,000 square feet.
The neighborhood would have 23 Craftsman-style homes on about 25 acres.
Kent Henderson, the developer for the project, also developed North Gate Manor off Jim Hood Road, several homes in Mount Vernon Meadows and homes in other local subdivisions. He said he lives about two miles away from the proposed subdivision.
Darlene Carver spoke Monday in favor of the subdivision. The property was her mother’s land and she would like to see new families living there, she said.
“I just want to see life added back to that property. … To see kids play in that creek and to enjoy that land the way I enjoyed that land, the way Mom’s 10 grandkids enjoyed that land, that is my heart’s desire,” Carver said.
However, Jay Hortenstine had some concerns about the size of the lots, with many of them being less than an acre. Douglas Aiken, who lives nearby, said the homes should have a higher price point to help fund local schools. Some other residents had concerns about traffic and congestion in the area.
Henderson had originally proposed that the homes would have a minimum of 1,600 square feet, but the commission added a recommendation that the homes be at least 2,000 square feet. Henderson asked the commission to vote rather than tabling the item.
Hall County Board of Commissioners
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville