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Student cottages approved near UNG campus in Oakwood
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Gainesville lawyer Steve Gilliam talks about a plan to build 18 cottages as student rental house near the University of North Georgia campus in Oakwood on Sept. 10, 2018. - photo by Jeff Gill

They aren’t dormitories, but 18 cottages near the University of North Georgia in Oakwood could give students a home within walking distance of the campus.

A development featuring three-bedroom cottages with rents of $1,650-$1,800 per month — or potentially up to $600 per roommate — was approved Monday, Sept. 10, by the Oakwood City Council.

The cottages would be built on 2.3 acres at 2988 Frontage Road, near the Thurmon Tanner Parkway entrance to UNG and near the Hayes Chrysler dealership off Frontage.

“There’s really a sore spot here for not having housing for University of North Georgia,” said Gainesville lawyer Steve Gilliam, representing the applicant, Bill Stark Properties of South Hall.

Stark’s project will help fill that need, he added.

“This is a new concept that’s being done at universities,” such as at Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Gilliam said. “They’re doing single-story houses there.”

He also showed a photo depicting a similar development at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Stark’s project calls for homes 1,350-1,400 square feet in size that “will be professionally managed and maintained,” Gilliam said.

The development also would feature two outdoor patio areas, and the entrance would be off Frontage, according to a map of the proposal.

“There is a definite need for housing for students and other people due to the growth in the Oakwood community,” according to Bill Stark’s application.

UNG “has become a four-year school with no housing for students.”

The property had been zoned for commercial development.

“The current accessibility for (commercial) would not be as desirable,” the application states.

“As a residential community, it would be very accessible.”

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