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Sunday November 19th, 2017 2:31PM

Planning commission agrees to added property, lower density for proposed south Hall apartments

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
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Traffic concerns surfaced at the Hall County Planning Commission Monday night, even as the representative of an approved apartment development proposed decreasing its density.
 
Morningstar Investment Group, LLC, wants to add ten acres to its 29-acre site on Spout Springs Road near Hog Mountain Road.  Speaking on behalf of Morningstar, Ed Meyers said the land addition will help with access in and out of the development.   He's been working with officials planning the widening of Spout Spring Road.
 
"We were fairly limited before.  We couldn't get a right in and a right out, but we're trying to work with the county and line up with their median cuts with the road as it comes through there."
 
The Hall County Commission initially approved the 352-unit apartment complex from then-applicant KHTW in 2014.  The current Morningstar application keeps the same unit number but adds property.
 
Ken Hewell lives off of Forest Knoll Drive, near the original 29-acre applicant tract, and told the commission he's concerned about traffic.  
 
"Right now, if I pull up to the Forest Knoll Road and I want to make a left (on Spout Springs Road) at seven o'clock in the morning, it takes ten to 12 minutes."
 
Attorney James E. Palmour III spoke on behalf of a Spout Springs Road business owner, also expressing concern about traffic.
 
"Most everybody that does a project this big has to do a traffic study, and the fact that they are widening it (Spout Springs Road) to four-lane, I don't think changes the fact that it's going to back traffic up in front of my client's business, regardless of whether it's two-lane or four-lane."
 
Earlier in the meeting, Meyers asked to forego a traffic study condition because officials are already planning the widening of Spout Springs Road.  
 
The commission agreed to the request, so long as development doesn't start before widening work does. 
 
"Based on whenever they come in to get the land disturbance permit, that's when the county will either make them do the traffic study or not," Hall County Planning Director Srikanth Yamala said.
 
The planning commission recommended approval of the rezoning with the amended condition.  
 
The Hall County Commission is scheduled to take up the request on Thursday, November 9.  The 6 p.m. meeting will be help at the Government Center on Browns Bridge Road.
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