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Letter: A plan somewhat compatible with zoning is needed
02012018 LETTER
Maybe I am missing something, but I really don’t understand our Planning Commission’s approval of the Ponderosa Farm Road proposal. According to the report:
  • The property is currently zoned Agricultural-Residential-III (AR-III).  
  • The builder wants to rezone to Planned Residential Development (PRD).
  • The proposal states that the plan “is not consistent with the Hall County Comprehensive Plan.”
  • The builder can build age-restricted housing or traditional family housing — their choice.  Since traditional family housing is an option, it would seem that school and busing impact needs to be studied, but that does not appear to have been done.
  • The proposal compares the subdivision to 11 subdivisions within one mile. They request a density of 2.3 units per acre compared to the largest density in the compared subdivisions of 1.41 units per acre — almost double existing subdivisions. They requested a minimum of 4,400 square feet or 6,000 square feet for traditional houses per lot (not a misprint) compared to the smallest minimum lot size of 25,000 square feet in the compared subdivisions. A 1,500-square-foot house with carport would cover nearly half the lot — and they could build a larger house if desired.
  • Some of the property is in FEMA and Future Flood zones. If approved as is, apparently they can put some of the houses in flood zones.
  • Part of the property is on a power line easement.
  • As shown, the streets likely do not meet standards for public maintenance according to the proposal.
  • The property has several streams, which are protected by a 75-foot buffer, which makes the proposal impossible without endangering our streams.
After reviewing the above, our Planning Commission granted “Approval, with Conditions?”  None of the conditions addressed any of the above.

We paid a lot of money for a Comprehensive Development Plan to keep our growth reasonably consistent. I realize we need to be able to make small variances but our county plan is a complete waste of money if it is completely ignored as it appears was done in this case.

This proposal should be rejected by our county commissioners and allow the developers to present a serious plan that is at least somewhat compatible with the zoning and our Comprehensive Development Plan.

I hope one of the commissioners will respond to the paper if there is some logic behind approval of this proposal.

Mike McConnell


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