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Some protested loudly when this South Hall subdivision was recommended for approval
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Doug Magnus addresses the Hall County Planning Commission on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Magnus owns the land where a 279-lot subdivision, which was approved by the commission, would be built. Bradley Dunckel of Rochester and Associates, left, also spoke in favor of the development. - photo by Megan Reed

Despite opposition from neighbors, a 279-lot subdivision in South Hall at the intersection of LJ Martin Drive and Ponderosa Farm Road was approved Monday by the Hall County Planning Commission.

After the development was approved, some neighbors challenged commissioners. A marshal asked the crowd to clear the room.

Residents said they were worried the density of the project, 2.3 units per acre, would bring traffic and change the character of the area.

“For us to keep taking our land and making it (planned residential developments) is a misuse of what we have in the south end,” Gina Pilcher said. “We need to start to slow that growth to the point where we can maintain some of our ruralness.”

Another resident said he was concerned that lots in the subdivision could sit undeveloped and become an eyesore.

Neighbors asked commissioners to recommend larger lot sizes for the 121-acre subdivision. The commission did not add a condition about lot sizes but did recommend that houses be a minimum of 1,600 square feet.

Bradley Dunckel of Rochester and Associates, speaking on behalf of the developer, said the houses would likely be priced in the mid- to high-$200,000s. The neighborhood could be either age-restricted or a traditional subdivision.

The planning commission’s recommendation will now go to the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a final vote on Dec. 13.