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This South Hall subdivision got planner approval, but with fewer lots
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The Hall County Planning Commission considers a large subdivision in South Hall on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. - photo by Jeff Gill

A 151-lot subdivision off Union Church Road near Braselton in South Hall was recommended for approval Monday night by the Hall County Planning Commission.

The proposed development is a slimmed-down version of Pulte Homes’ request for a 195-lot subdivision, as the board was concerned about the project’s original density — 3.3 units per acre — from the get-go.

“It seems a little aggressive,” planning board Chairman Chris Braswell said at the Jan. 7 meeting.

Area residents also weren’t happy with Pulte’s density request.

“These houses are too close together,” said Gary McClung. “Did we not learn anything from the California fire where the fire official said the closeness of the houses attributed heavily to the devastation that happened?”

The planning board ended up recommending a density of 2.57 units per acre.

Another resident, Phyllis Mercer, asked the board to require the developer to put the subdivision on the Hall County sewer system.

“These lots do not appear to lend themselves to septic tanks,” she said.

The board’s recommendation will go to the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a public hearing set for Jan. 24 and final action.

Pulte Homes is seeking to rezone the 60 acres from agricultural-residential to planned residential development.

The subdivision would include an amenity area with a dog park, gathering area with pavilion or gazebo, parking area and mailbox kiosk. The amenity area may also include walking trails, passive pocket parks and a fire pit, according to Pulte’s application.

“Existing structures located on the property will be removed prior to the development of the property,” the application states.

The property now has several single-family residences, a single-wide mobile home and various outbuildings, according to a Hall County staff report on the proposal.

Brian Rochester, a Gainesville engineer representing the applicant, said Pulte also is proposing the development market to people 55 and older.

Older adult housing is a trend in the area. To the west of the property is Village at Deaton Creek subdivision, an age-restricted community that was approved for 1,400 lots by Hall County in 2005, the county’s staff report says.

The report says that Pulte’s request is not consistent with Hall’s Comprehensive Plan, as the recommended density for residential areas is 2 homes per acre.

However, the planned residential development zoning classification “is intended to provide opportunities for a more flexible placement, arrangement and orientation of residential structures,” the report states.

The planning staff is recommending approval of the proposal with conditions.

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