GAINESVILLE – A plan to construct a pair of six-story condominium units on a 6.227-acre site along the bank of Lake Lanier received unanimous recommendation for approval from the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board Tuesday evening.
These high-rise (by Gainesville standards) twin towers will provide for 79-units, each having 2359-square feet of heated space and 285-square feet of outdoor deck space. In addition, indoor parking will be available for the owners of the 3-bedroom, 3-bath upscale units.
Also a part of the planned complex will be a pool with cabana, club house, over an acre of green space and a 2275-square feet office building.
While such development sounds like a wonderful addition to any community there were some at the meeting who disagreed.
Chief among concerns is the fact that the development is along the crowded Dawsonville Highway corridor. Located between Gainesville Marina and Lake Lanier Club Apartments, the additional traffic generated by the new community is coming at a time when concerted efforts are underway to lessen the volume of vehicles that traverse the area.
Jack Scales lives on Douglas Drive, about a mile from the proposed site, and he said Dawsonville Highway does not need any more traffic. His neighborhood connects to Dawsonville Highway via Lanier Valley Drive and is severely challenged when Lanier Point Park is being used. “During the ball field times it’s backed up all the way down to the stop sign.”
Whippoorwill Lane neighbor Clyde Morris agrees. “I think everybody is very aware of the traffic problem…we have on Dawsonville Highway; I know the city is working to address it, but this is going to aggravate it.”
Morris then shifted gears as he expressed a second concern regarding the rezoning application and said, “I’d like to speak on behalf of the Lake Lanier Association.”
Morris said his official role at LLA was to address siltation and sedimentation concerns. “While we have no legal jurisdiction we are very concerned about Lake Lanier…and we would like to develop a program… with developers…around Lake Lanier to participate in.”
Morris offered his services as part of LLA to monitor siltation prevention measures once construction begins. “We would like to volunteer as an organization to do the monitoring if the developer will engage with us.”
Whether or not the developer, Lake 53, LLC, a part of America’s Homeplace, Incorporated, of Gainesville, agrees to accept Morris’s offer remains to be seen, but there was unanimous agreement among members of the Planning and Appeals Board as they recommended approval of the rezoning request.
Final determination of the request will be decided by the Gainesville City Council at their voting session on April 17th.
OTHER GPAB APPROVALS
~ Also recommended for approval by the GPAB was a zoning variance concerning setbacks as Paige Pethel wants to construct two buildings on the site that was once occupied by Syfan Landscaping. Pethel plans to build 3200-square feet and 4000-square feet office/retail buildings on the site on Thompson Bridge Road at Green Street Circle.
~ Unanimous recommendation for approval was given to a rezoning request to allow for the construction of a local non-profit residential facility on Lanier Valley Drive just west of Otila Drive. The proposed 17-unit complex would be allowed to host 51 residents on average and provide counseling, support groups and residential services primarily for women and children in need of assistance.
Both requests will need to be approved by the Gainesville City Council before the matters are final.