GAINESVILLE – The Hall County Commission gave unanimous approval Thursday evening to a rezoning application along Browns Bridge Road despite opposition from a couple of neighbors.
Howorth Properties, LLC, asked to have just over 12.5-acres at the intersection of Browns Bridge Road and Cumberland Point Drive rezoned from AR-3 (Agriculture-Residential 3) to Light Industrial (I-I).
Applicant Jeff Howorth owns Howorth Pools on the property next door and wants to construct a mini-warehouse on the site and provide covered storage for boats and RVs.
David Chastain lives across Browns Bridge Road from the subject property and is concerned about Light Industrial being the new zoning classification requested by Howorth. “My understanding is that boat storage does not require industrial zoning,” Chastain said.
“My biggest concern is that opens a very wide, ugly door, as far as I’m concerned, of having other industrial come into that corridor,” Chastain said.
“It is a gateway corridor…and likewise it is a lake-supported corridor as I understand it. So I think we want to have it looking as nice and as good as possible,” Chastain added.
Randy Zimler lives in the same neighborhood as Chastain and also opposes the rezoning request. Zimler said traffic along Browns Bridge Road, especially on weekends, was his main concern. He said, “I can only imagine when we have significant numbers of boats, and other types of trailered type vehicles being pulled in and out of that location, the amount of congestion and the potential for more accidents.”
In response Howorth said, “They’re just afraid because this is out in front of their residences; that it’s going to look ugly.”
“But it’s going to be real nice; it’ll be landscaped just like Cresswinds down the street with a buffer with real pretty landscaping. They will not see inside there at all unless the gate’s open,” Howorth said regarding his plans for the now-vacant lot.
“To me, it’s an eyesore right now the way it sits,” Howorth added. “It’s going to look real nice. They won’t see my building. “
After further discussion, two additional conditions were added by commissioners to the application limiting future light industrial use of the property to boat and RV storage only. Upon agreement the application was approved unanimously.