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Opinion: Proposed rezoning on McEver Road would not be safe
Proposed warehouse site
Nearly 400,000 square feet of warehouse space was being proposed at this site off McEver Road near Gaines Ferry Road in South Hall.

We received a notice about rezoning the parcel of land at 6533 McEver Road from agricultural/residential to light industrial. That parcel of land is across McEver Road from our property and near the entrances to two neighborhoods on both sides of our land.  

The property in question is along a sharp curve on McEver Road. The curve is so severe that, when driving southwest from Gaines Ferry, I put my turn signal on at the beginning of the curve so that any driver behind me realizes that I am going to turn right into my driveway immediately after the curve. Still, I am never confident that I will not be rear-ended as I take the right turn into my driveway.  

Apparently, due to the many accidents on the curve, often involving fatalities, the residents call it “Deadman’s curve.”   

Knowing this, when I received notice about rezoning, I wasn’t concerned. No one who knew the area would put a distribution center in a highly residential area, on this part of McEver Road, known for having accidents every couple of months. 

I found that this is partially true. After investigating the request, the Hall County Planning Commission staff recommended denial of this application. Though the staff recommended denial, however, project planning continued as though rezoning was approved.  

Flowery Branch offered sewer services, the developer agreed to required road improvements and contacted GDOT to make arrangements for traffic light improvements at Gaines Ferry Road. Those changes would make it possible for the Hall County Board of Commissioners to vote “yes” to rezoning on Nov. 12. 

Hall County has astutely thought out and zoned industrial areas by the interstate. Development according to those plans allows industrial growth in appropriate areas. Areas already zoned for industrial use include appropriate roadways, that can accommodate traffic from trucks and increased traffic from employees. 

To rezone 6533 McEver Road from agricultural-residential to light industrial is unconscionable due to the condition of the existing highway and the way property around the parcel has already been developed. In fact, why is this parcel of land being advertised by the real estate agent as possible light industrial? It will bring industrial traffic to an area that already bears a high degree of residential and recreational traffic due to the proximity of Lake Lanier and Van Pugh Park.  

In addition, the safety of residents in the area will be at risk due to 24-hour traffic in the middle of myriad sleeping families. 

The Hall County Board of Commissioners votes to support the best interests of residents of the county. When we purchased our homes, that parcel was zoned to be developed as agricultural or as homes. To change the zoning of 6533 McEver Road to light industrial is a breach of faith for all of the residents in this area, particularly when there are many more existing areas in Hall County that could better accommodate a distribution center. 

Bernadette Scruggs 

Flowery Branch

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