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Sunday January 17th, 2021 2:04PM

One hundred new homes for south Hall clear first hurdle

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter

GAINESVILLE – The Hall County Planning Commission Monday evening recommended for approval a rezoning application that will allow for a 100-home subdivision in southern Hall County but the developer had to agree to improve nearly one-half mile of county road leading to the subdivision.

Give and take is not unusual in most business transactions and when Hall County told the developer, Aspen Holdings Atlanta, LLC, that they would need to bring nearly 2600-feet of Swansey Road up to county standards, and construct a deceleration lane from Friendship Road onto Swansey Road, Aspen Holdings agreed.

Brian Rochester of Rochester & Associates of Gainesville presented Aspen Holdings’ application to the Planning Commission and said, “The county is asking the developer, and the developer is agreeing, to improve Swansey Road…which is almost half a mile of road that they’ll be improving for the county.”

Rochester suggested that his client’s willingness to improve a gravel county road should be considered against their application to exceed normal unit-per-acre limitations.  “We think that there should be some consideration for that in the density (variance)…we’re still in keeping with a lot of the other neighborhoods, but most of the other neighborhoods weren’t asked to improve a lot of offsite roads,” Rochester said.

Homes will be a minimum of 1600 heated square feet and sell for $325,000 to mid-$400,000, Rochester explained.

Area resident Ron Foster came forward with a concern about the new subdivision.  “My opposition would have to be classified as ‘somewhat soft’ on this,” Foster told commissioners. He and two other neighbors were concerned about a stream buffer being maintained along one end of the 38.45-acre site.

Rochester explained that a 150-foot natural buffer would envelope the creek and that it would remain undisturbed.

Neighbor Janet Lipscomb said she wanted potential buyers in the new subdivision to know that Swansey Road was the southern border of the quarry belonging to Vulcan Materials.  She said large machinery operating at the quarry and occasional blasting could be heard throughout the day.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise to the new potential owners,” Lipscomb said.

The Planning Commission agreed that the standard agriculture/industry buyers’ warning statement should be written into the final plat.     

The Planning Commission’s unanimous recommendation for approval now will go to the Hall County Commission on January 14th for final consideration.

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