The dust has barely settled from the successful citizens opposition to a high-density apartment complex in the South Hall area, which is the home of Reunion Country Club, Del Webb Chateau Elan, The Village at Deaton Creek, Clearwater Plantation and other single-family residential developments. Now there is a proposal for an even larger, more invasive and undesirable project on Spout Springs Road.
Ridgeline Land Planning, Inc. has requested that some 40 acres of land backing up to Reunion Country Club be rezoned to allow the construction of an apartment/townhouse complex that would consist of almost 400 units.
This proposal, if successful, would increase the population density of the area in question by almost 20% in one fell swoop. While this particular area of Hall County is noted for its relatively recent growth, the growth thus far has been almost exclusively in the form of single-family homes within well-established neighborhoods. To allow a high-density development like the one proposed would be to disrupt the nature and character of the entire area.
Using information revealed by the developer in his application for rezoning, the complex would create almost 2,400 additional vehicle trips per day on the roads surrounding the development. General consensus is that this count is conservatively low and that actual vehicular congestion would be even more extreme.
To make matters worse, ingress and egress to the proposed development would be via the two-lane Spout Springs Road, which is already heavily trafficked and congested with an additional entrance feeding onto Cody Drive (a small, local secondary road).
There are future plans to widen the section of Spout Springs Road affected by this proposal, but that work very well may not be done until 2025 or 2026. This would produce serious, undesirable consequences for those attempting to enter or exit the rear entrance to Reunion Country Club (Dove Point), among other problems and inconveniences.
I can speak as a resident of Reunion Country Club in that we are not opposed to smart growth in our area. I understand that growth is inevitable, but it seems unconscionable to almost arbitrarily plop a mega-sized multifamily development into an area that is characterized by privately owned, single-family homes. To do so would irreparably mar the quality of life of the homeowners of the area.
Property values will decline, law enforcement protection will be diminished, traffic congestion would be amplified and other already strained infrastructure will be taxed even further. Add to this the fact that such a large, sudden influx of population would have an overwhelming effect on our school system.
This is not the kind of “smart growth” the people of South Hall County want or deserve. It is not the kind of growth we expected when we invested in our homes here in South Hall.
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