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Residential developments dominate Hall Countys agenda
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More residential development is on the agenda for the Hall County Commission meeting today.

In December, the Hall County Planning Commission unanimously recommended for approval the roughly 1,507-acre Hagen Creek development plan that calls for 2,736 residential units, a school site and 1,000,000 square feet of commercial and office space in Lula.

The county commission will consider the request by the land owner, an Austrian family, to rezone the tract from agriculture residential and vacation cottage to planned commercial and residential development.

Named for the creek flowing through it, the Hagen Creek property is located on Ga. 365 and is bordered by Ga. 52 to the west and Belton Bridge Road to the east.

If the zoning request is approved by the county commission, a minimum of 70 percent of the residential units would be single-family detached dwellings. The proposed school would be built on a 20-acre site, and recreational amenities for the subdivision could include a trail system, equestrian facilities, parks, amenity centers with tennis and swimming and perhaps an 18-hole golf course with a driving range and clubhouse.

The developer, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, a Florida-based planning and design firm, has not decided whether the subdivision will connect to the adjacent Lula sewer treatment plant or if a private sewer system will be devised to service the Hagen Creek community.

John Fish, vice president of planning and landscape architecture with the Florida developing firm, said that if the project is approved, a parkway will be constructed from Belton Bridge Road through Hagen Creek to Ga. 52.

The planning commission recommended approval of the Hagen Creek plan with 15 conditions, one of which requires the developer to foot the bill for a traffic engineering study completed by an independent party before property permits will be issued. Further, the developer will be responsible for financing any external road improvements deemed necessary by the traffic study.

On Monday, the planning commission unanimously recommended for approval another rezoning request for a proposed subdivision that will come up for county commission vote on Jan. 24.

The planning commission recommended approval of Fred Milani’s request to rezone a 217-acre tract from residential, vacation cottage and agriculture residential to planned residential development. The subdivision, dubbed Portofino at Lake Lanier, is located on both the east and west sides of Duckett Mill Road.

Milani proposes to build 261 homes that are a minimum of 3,500 square feet.

"We’re looking for a good quality development, and this development is a quality one," said Hall County Planning Commission Chairman Don Smallwood. "This is going to have its own in-house sewer system," he added.

Smallwood said Milani first proposed the Portofino project early in 2007, but the planning commission denied his rezoning request. Milani returned to the planning commission Monday with a scaled-down version of the subdivision which called for lower housing density and fewer boat slips in the nearby cove on Lake Lanier.

As a condition for approval, the planning commission required that all homes in the proposed Portofino development have sodded lawns and two car garages.

The commission also approved the rezoning request with the condition that the developer finance half of the installation cost for a traffic light at Ga. 53 and Duckett Mill Road pending Georgia Department of Transportation approval.