GAINESVILLE – Developers of a proposed 132-lot subdivision and shopping center near the Gwinnett County line in southern Hall County agreed Monday evening to table their request and return to the drawing board.
That move comes after numerous components of the development were in an “undetermined status” as applicant W.E. Flip, LLC, appeared before the Hall County Planning Commission.
The two-tract rezoning request for 74.38-acres along Friendship Road at Ridge Road began concept design work under previous Planned Residential Development (PRD) rules, but now comes before the Planning Commission under revised rules.
Aware of the new PRD guidelines now in place the developer opted to use his existing site plan (drawn before the changeover) and ask for variances in order to meet the updated standards, rather than redrawing the entire project.
The architect’s drawing of the development presented with the rezoning application predates the new PRD regulations according to Hall County Planning Manager Sarah McQuade, “His design work was already complete by the time the new code was passed.”
McQuade said, “The new PRD codes set some minimum standards…including amounts of open space, minimum lot sizes and maximum density standards. So they (applicant W.E. Flip, LLC) were in that in-between, where they had designed it based upon the old code, and that’s why they had so many variances requested, because when they submitted it the new code had been passed.”
“The original PRD pretty much let the applicant set their (own) standards and didn’t have any minimum standards by the county,” McQuade explained. “The new code sets those recommendations that the county is looking for.”
Also of concern to the Planning Commission is a missing traffic impact study and an attempt by the developer to communicate with the local schools about the impact the development would have on classroom availability.
Area resident Scott Freeman lives across from the proposed development. He told commissioners, “We’re not opposed necessarily to the plan for the development…we’re concerned we don’t have the details of what this plan actually is. It sounds like it is ambiguous and changing.”
Commission chairman Chris Braswell said, “What’s happened with this plan, and my concern is…that we’re seeing the plan under the old regulations. I think in fairness to them, the neighbors and us we need to see what the new plan is under the new regulations.”
“I would propose, if it’s agreeable to the board, that we table this,” Braswell suggested.
All parties agreed. Once these issues are handled the developer will communicate with the Planning Department staff to determine a new hearing date.