Wednesday May 25th, 2016 7:10PM

Hall Planners approve 'Gateway Village'

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - The second time was the charm for the developer of a major commercial and residential project near the Gateway Industrial Park on Highway 365 at the Hall County Planning Commission's final meeting of the year Monday night.

A month ago commissioners told BarkerStreet LLC developer Patrick Clark from Marietta, Ga. they needed more answers about traffic access, school impact, and apartment density. They got their answers this time, voting 3-1 to approve the 476 acre rezoning from agricultural to Planned Commercial and Planned residential.

Bo Brooks did not like Clark's answer on density. He cast the single no vote.

"The density of the apartments is just two strong and aggressive for that area of Hall County at this time in my opinion," Brooks said. "I don't think we're ready for the density that they're asking for yet."

Brooks said the total multi-family density commissioners approved was almost eight units an acre with a total of 320 multi- family units, mostly in apartments, with some town homes. John Hemmer and his son Lee also opposed the apartment phase of the project, saying it was too close to their 200 year old cattle farm.

"We don't have an issue with the development as a whole except for the apartments," Lee Hemmer said. "This isn't south Forsyth County, this is east Hall, and the apartments they have planned are right up against our property line,and we just don't feel like 300 apartments is appropriate; it's just too dense, it's just the wrong location and the wrong time."

Clark pointed out that the distance between the apartments and the Hemmer farm was over a third of a mile, a 'pretty good distance away'. Clark added that BarkerStreet would agree to a condition adding a six foot black vinyl chain link fence around the perimeter to further discourage wandering by either cows or people, and Clark argued for the density.

"The number that we have is a good number," Clark said. "We think it's a solid number and in my professional opinion, I would say the number is actually low."

Clark estimated ground breaking for the project in early 2015, and the total build-out, start to finish, would take about seven years, through 2020.

"That's our best guess at this time which would include multi-family, single family, and the commercial," Clark told Chairman Don Smallwood.

"Gateway Village" as proposed would be a mixed-use community with 496 residential units including 186 single family lots, recreational amenities, 25 percent open space and 600,000 square feet of commercial and office space.

"This is going to come in stages," Smallwood said. "It is a good development. Apartments always give us heart burn but I think where they are they are shielded pretty good from the Hemmer property."

Commissioner Chris Braswell made the approval motion and added installing the six foot fence at the developer's expense as a condition as well as the county's agricultural statement which basically advises newcomers to expect the sights, sounds and smells of farming near their homes. Hall Commissioners have the final say on BarkerStreet's rezoning request at their meeting December 12th.
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 2 years ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Medicaid growth creates gap of 5M without coverage; 409K in Ga.
About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.
7:30AM ( 2 years ago )
Vandals spray graffiti against Kerry in West Bank
Suspected Jewish vandals set fire to three vehicles in a West Bank village early on Tuesday and sprayed threatening graffiti referring to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his expected visit to the region, police said.
7:28AM ( 2 years ago )
Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies.
2:23PM ( 2 years ago )
NTSB releases likely cause of fatal Gainesville plane crash in 2014
It was likely a loss of engine power caused by an undetected valve blockage that brought down a small plane, killing two people on board on Oct. 16, 2014.
4:19PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: 11 states sue over federal transgender directive
Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over new federal guidance for transgender students in public schools
2:54PM ( 4 hours ago )
UPDATE: Hunter finds human skull near Auburn; search for bones underway
​Sheriff's officials in Gwinnett County said they're searching an area near the town of Auburn for bones after a hunter found a skull.
1:00PM ( 6 hours ago )
Suwanee refinances bonds, saves $3 million
The Suwanee city council approved the refinancing of the city's open space bonds at their meeting Tuesday evening, a measure that will save the city $3 million.
12:22PM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump, Clinton win Washington state's presidential primaries
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump each won primaries in Washington state Tuesday
7:49AM ( 11 hours ago )