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Wednesday October 27th, 2021 7:56PM

Public hearings planned for Tuesday Gainesville City Council meeting including one from NGMC

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter

GAINESVILLE – Expansion plans at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) in Gainesville are moving forward as the Gainesville City Council agreed at its Thursday morning work session to hold a public hearing Tuesday evening regarding NGMC’s application for rezoning consideration.

Currently, the campus of the hospital is 47.329-acres and is zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD).  According to the application submitted by NGMC, an additional 1.648-acre site owned by the Hospital Authority and adjacent to the existing campus is zoned Office and Institutional (O-I).  The request is to combine the smaller parcel with the main campus acreage under one zoning category, PUD.

The applicant says it would be on the added 1.648-acre site, located at the corner of South Enota and Sherwood Park Drive that a 40,000-square foot Central Energy Facility (CEF) is to be constructed for the purpose of supporting the new patient tower.  That 12-story tower will contain approximately 660,000-square feet and have a finished height of 179-feet including the elevator shaft.

One person spoke in opposition to the application when it was considered by the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on September 14. The Board recommended it for approval with seven conditions.

The City of Gainesville holds just one public hearing for rezoning applications and the public is invited to make comment when the request comes before the city council for final action Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at the Gainesville Public Safety Complex on Queen City Parkway beginning at 5:30 p.m.

151 TOWNHOMES ALSO UP FOR CONSIDERATION TUESDAY

Three separate zoning applications will be on Tuesday’s agenda that involve plans to allow for the construction on 151 townhomes.  Each is scheduled for a public hearing and final vote but only one will actually be considered.

The application that definitely will be decided Tuesday is from Optum Development; it seeks annexation and rezoning on 7.77-acres between Limestone Parkway and Tapawingo Drive just east of Cleveland Highway.  Optum hopes to construct 36 residential townhomes at that site.

City Attorney Abb Hayes told council members at Monday’s work session, “We will at that meeting need to vote it either up or down, or send it back to Planning.”

Two other applications will be on the agenda as public hearings, but they will not be discussed.

Easto Construction’s application for rezoning of 4.847-acres at the intersection of Thompson Bridge Road and High Vista Point to allow for the construction of 50 residential townhomes will be tabled until December 7th at the request of the applicant.

“They have come and asked staff that this be tabled…there was a significant opposition at the Planning meeting,” Hayes explained.  “It gives them some time to try and address some concerns.”

And an application by Winterset Holdings to rezone 12.66-acres on either side of Wilson Drive at Athens Highway for the construction of 65 residential townhomes will likely be withdrawn.

“The applicant has come forward and said they don’t intend to proceed,” Hayes explained, but since the public hearing has already been advertised it will need to stay on the agenda.

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