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Some worry about unique issue as Reveille development wins approval from Hall commission
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A South Hall project known as Reveille will include 122,500 square feet of retail space, 122,500 square feet of office space, 560 apartments, 75 townhomes, 25, assisted-living townhomes and a 175-room hotel. A Southern coastal craftsman type architectural theme would be used throughout the development.

Reveille, a 509-acre mixed use development in South Hall, was approved by the Hall County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, although neighbors are concerned about traffic on Ga. 211 and the impact of noise from nearby Road Atlanta on the development.

The development will have 1,570 homes at 5445 and 5601 Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211, off Union Church Road and near Braselton. Plans also call for 482,415 square feet in retail space, 8.4 acres in outparcel development and a 175-unit hotel. It is expected to take about six to eight years to build.

Chairman Richard Higgins voted against the development, but all other commissioners approved it.

Reveille will be built off of what is now a two-lane road, although there are plans to widen Ga. 211 to four lanes from Winder Highway/Ga. 53 to Friendship Road/Ga. 347 by 2030. Braselton residents said Thursday traffic on Ga. 211 is already a problem, and the amount of homes in Reveille will only make it worse.

“Do the math. If you’re going to put 1,500 rooftops in this neighborhood, you figure each person is going to have at least one car,” Carol McCormick said. “Just in and out, that’s 3,000 trips a day.”

Braselton residents also had concerns about the density of the neighborhood and the small lot and home sizes.

The property is adjacent to Road Atlanta, a racing facility. Plans for Reveille include a sound barrier between the homes and the racing property, although both Road Atlanta representatives and Braselton residents questioned whether the wall would be built in time and whether it could effectively keep the noise out.

Geoff Lee, the president of Road Atlanta, said he was generally supportive of the development because of the economic impact it could have, but he was worried Reveille residents could be negatively affected if the sound barrier was not built correctly.

“As long as what they do with the sound wall is sufficient to help with the sound and as long as it is put up before it would impact homes that are being built or any of the other neighborhoods, we think (Reveille) would be a great asset,” Lee said.

Lee said that while building the wall on Road Atlanta property would require an agreement with NASCAR, Road Atlanta could work with Reveille developers to streamline the process. The development was approved with the condition that engineering work for the sound barrier would begin within 60 days of closing on the property.

“(The wall) would benefit the most the earliest it can be done,” Commissioner Kathy Cooper, whose district includes the property, said.

Higgins said he was still skeptical of how effective a wall could be.

“I think it’s going to be hard to build something that is going to be sufficient to stop the sound,” Higgins said. “People I know in Chestnut Mountain hear (Road Atlanta) four or five miles away.”

Higgins said later in the meeting that he was not familiar enough with Rotunda Land & Development Group LLC, the developers for the property, to put his trust in how the development would turn out.

“There are a lot of pretty pictures here, but they’ve admitted they haven’t done anything yet. That makes me skeptical of what they can do,” Higgins said.

Reveille is a scaled-down version of River Walk, a previously approved development that would have had 1,261 homes and double the retail space of Reveille. River Walk never came to fruition, and Steve Gilliam, an attorney representing Reveille’s developers, said Thursday Reveille was an attempt at a fresh start.

“River Walk failed miserably. Reveille has come in trying to bring to you amended conditions of zoning in order to allow the project through,” Gilliam said.

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