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Residents still riled about this subdivision near their 'slice of heaven'
Hall County Government Center

A subdivision in Murrayville was approved by the Hall County Planning Commission Tuesday after the project engineer met with neighbors and made adjustments to the design.

North Hall residents still spoke out against the plan on Tuesday, saying they were concerned about the lot and home sizes, home design and how the subdivision would fit in with the surrounding area.

The development on 26.3 acres off Yellow Creek Road first went before the commission on Jan. 7, but the commission tabled the proposal so that Brian Rochester of Rochester and Associates, the engineer for the project, could meet with neighbors to hear their concerns.

Plans for the neighborhood were adjusted. Instead of 23 lots, the subdivision would have 21, and instead of having a minimum lot width of 75 feet, lots would be at least 150 feet wide.

 “I do want to thank (the neighbors). It was a very productive meeting, and we worked together,” Rochester said.

Residents had also said they were worried about the neighborhood’s layout, which does not include an interior road. Original plans had included all the driveways facing Yellow Creek Road, but Tuesday, Rochester proposed that seven of the homes could share a driveway that would run would behind the houses.

Neighbors told the commission Tuesday that they felt the development did not fit the rural character of the area.

“When you drive to our community, the homes are private. They are camouflaged. … We have trees and lot space between us,” Leah Smith said.

Jim Gibson agreed, and he showed the commission photos of other lots nearby to demonstrate the area’s rural feel.

“The trend is not toward tiny houses on tiny lots,” Gibson said. “The trend is toward somebody buying as much land as they can because it’s a little slice of heaven.”

The homes would be a minimum of 1,500 square feet for ranch homes and 1,800 square feet for two-story homes. Homes in the neighborhood would also be custom-designed, which Rochester said fits with the area. But Smith said custom homes make nearby residents uncertain of what could eventually be built.

“I want to know that there are architectural controls to prevent modular homes, to prevent pink houses,” Smith said. “We have a beautiful area out there. The architectural controls need to be put in place to maintain that.”

Gina Pilcher cast the only opposing vote Tuesday. The commission approved the proposal with Rochester’s added conditions and planning staff conditions, which require that homes be site-built and prohibit vinyl siding.

Pilcher noted the unusual design of the neighborhood.

“In that area, anything else that has that many houses in it has an interior road,” Pilcher said.

Pilcher asked Rochester if two or three-acre lots had been considered. Rochester said he had worked with his client, who had done market research and felt that the site was a good fit.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners, which will make the final decision on the development, will vote on Feb. 13.

Hall County Board of Commissioners

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13

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

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