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Work could begin soon on developmentally disabled adult housing in South Hall
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Grading work will begin soon on a 21-acre site in South Hall County for development into a community serving developmentally disabled adults. The “Just” People community project has been in the works since its highly contested rezoning by the Hall County Board of Commissioners in September 2015.

‘Just’ People

Those interested in the program’s programs and service can contact the organization at 770-441-1188 or visit justpeople.org.

Grading could begin soon on an 84-unit South Hall community for developmentally disabled adults.

Property has been staked off for the 21-acre “Just” People project off McEver and Radford roads, project manager Kyle A. Ivey said last week.

“We’re just waiting on final word of financing from the bank,” he said. “Soon as we have that, we’ll be going (ahead with work).”

The community’s housing is already 83 percent booked, he said.

“I have a feeling that as soon as we break ground … we will fill it pretty quickly,” Ivey said.

The project has been in the works for a couple of years, gaining the Hall County Board of Commissioners’ approval in September 2015 after a tough, emotional rezoning battle.

Opponents signed petitions and otherwise lined up to speak against “Just” People’s proposal to put a community in the area. They complained about the development’s potential impact on surrounding property values and traffic in the frequently congested area, common concerns in rezoning requests.

After the favorable vote, Becky Dowling, the group’s founder and president, described her reaction: “I was like, ‘Thank you, God, you’re still looking after my people.’”

Speaking last week about the project, she was ready to move forward.

“The trucks are ready, everything is ready to go out there,” Dowling said. “We’ve got all our permits and everything. … We’re excited.”

The Norcross-based nonprofit organization has been getting the word out about the new development, including sponsoring a booth at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Expo on Feb. 16.

And officials have released virtual-reality videos showing how the grounds will look upon the $15.4 million project’s completion, which, Ivey said, will take about 14 months.

The village will feature a variety of housing units, and the zoning allows for up to 10,000 square feet of commercial areas, including a cafe, snack bar, personal care salons and sports training areas — mostly suited to the community’s residents.

“Plus, we have a huge green space in the middle,” Ivey said. “It’s going to be for them hanging out with each other and having activities.”

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