A 233-lot subdivision on Friendship Road cleared the Hall County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, but some major steps need to be taken before building begins.
Edge City Properties is working to develop a 74-acre property along Friendship Road that is in both Hall and Gwinnett counties. On Tuesday, commissioners unanimously approved its request to rezone the property from agricultural-residential-III to the planned residential development zone.
The zoning change was needed to convert the existing farmland into a subdivision with about three lots per acre.
Once built, the subdivision will be named Trinity Falls, and homes will sell from $305,000 to $360,000, according to Mike Dye, a principal of Edge City Properties. He told commissioners on Tuesday that the land would be prepared by his company, but that the homes would be built by national construction company Century Communities.
Most of the land is currently owned by Jimmy Williams, who was born on the farm and spoke to the commission about the history of the area during the meeting. Williams, 78, hopes to sell the farm for the development.
The only opposition to the project voiced on Tuesday came from a Friendship Road resident who was worried about what adding that many homes would do to traffic in the area.
Alfredo Figueroa, who said he’s lived on Friendship Road for almost 30 years, noted that the area has suffered numerous traffic accidents, some with fatalities, since the road became a six-lane highway.
“It was a country road,” he said. “It’s every bit of a parkway (now).”
Dye said he understood concern about traffic on Friendship Road. At the moment, the subdivision doesn’t require a traffic light based on current traffic studies.
The traffic study included in the application states that an estimated 1,378 vehicle trips would be added to the area each day by residents of the subdivision.
Trinity Falls would have “nowhere near types of volumes that require a traffic light,” Dye said. “I couldn’t even commit – if I wanted to spend the money, (the Georgia Department of Transportation) wouldn’t allow me to put one in there.”
Hall County Commissioner Kathy Cooper told Dye she believed the subdivision would warrant a stoplight by the time it was finished, and Dye said he intends to pay for another traffic story when building is complete at the lot.
Homes would be built in three years at about 75 homes each year. Public amenities on the lot — a cabana and a dog park, among others — would be built in the first phase.
But before a single home is built, Edge City Properties will need to hammer out the details of an intergovernmental agreement between Hall and Gwinnett Counties and the Gainesville Department of Water Resources.
Because the subdivision spans the county line, agreements need to be in place for how street maintenance is regulated, which county is responsible for building inspections, which county will offer fire services and other details.
The plan is to have the subdivision served by the Gwinnett Water and Sewer Authority, which has agreed to serve the site.
Dye and Hall County had settled other agreements on the Hall side covering sewer and water services, but that agreement was rejected by the Gwinnett authority’s board because of some stormwater provisions included in the Hall agreement, according to Public Works Director Ken Rearden.
New documents are being prepared by Edge City Properties for approval by the governments involved. Dye has said he hopes to break ground in April.