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Proposed Reveille development has raised these two key concerns
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Crews prepare the ground alongside Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 at Friendship Road for a turning lane Wednesday, July 17, 2019. - photo by Scott Rogers

Since its announcement earlier this year, the proposed 509-acre Reveille development in South Hall has drawn both support and opposition — but certainly concerns about school and traffic impacts.

And that’s still the case, as the proposal is set to go before the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a public hearing and final vote on Thursday, July 25.

“We have asked for a donated school site, as the student impact is significant,” Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield said in an email last week.

Rotunda Land & Development Group spokesman Al Maiorino said the school board has said “they are comfortable with the existing language in the (Atlanta) River Walk zoning conditions, that the school site will be provided if a need exists.”

River Walk was a previously approved development that called for 1,261 homes and two times more retail space. It never got off the ground.

Enter Rotunda, which is seeking to amend the River Walk plan. 

Reveille calls for 1,570 homes — down from an original 1,969 — at 5445 and 5601 Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211, off Union Church Road and near Braselton.

Also, the plans, taking 6-8 years to build out, have called for 482,415 square feet in retail space, 8.4 acres in outparcel development and a 175-unit hotel.

Built off what is now a two-lane road, the development also has raised concerns about traffic congestion.

Traffic impact “is the biggest concern of everybody in the area,” resident Carol McCormick said at a May 20 Hall County Planning Commission meeting.

Project plans do include improvements at the development’s access points off Ga. 211, including a traffic signal at Union Church Road.

Otherwise, Ga. 211 is in Hall County transportation plans to be widened to four lanes from Winder Highway/Ga. 53 to Friendship Road/Ga. 347 by 2030, said Joseph Boyd, transportation planning director with the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“With our Long Range Transportation Plan currently being updated, it is possible that the timing … could change later on this year,” Boyd said.

Ga. 211 flows into Braselton, eventually reaching Interstate 85. That stretch has become heavily congested, as development has taken place along the corridor. The area around Ga. 211 and Friendship Road — not far from Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton — has especially become busy.

Plans call for Ga. 211 improvements in Braselton, including a roundabout at Chateau Elan resort, over the next few years.

In the short term, work is underway on a new southbound lane on Ga. 211 between Friendship Road and Thompson Mill, where the lane becomes a right turn only.

Concerning the overall development, Maiorino said Rotunda has “continued to field questions and provide information since our approval from the planning commission.”

In addition, “we have received myriad letters of support, which has been exciting to see.”

Several residents spoke in support at the planning board meeting, including Clyde Elrod, who said he has seen similar projects done in New Orleans and California.

“I am beyond excited,” he said.

The planning board ended up recommending approval.

Hall’s planning staff also has recommended  the project being OK’d, but with several conditions, including that fast-food restaurants with a drive-thru must first get the OK from the Hall County commission.

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.”

Hall County Board of Commissioners

What: Proposed rezoning for Reveille, a 1,570-home community in South Hall

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25

Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

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Crews dig alongside Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 at Friendship Road Wednesday, July 17, 2019, for a turning lane. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Crews dig alongside Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 at Friendship Road Wednesday, July 17, 2019, for a turning lane. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Traffic moves along Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 at Union Church Road Wednesday, July 17, 2019, where the new Reveille project will be located. - photo by Scott Rogers