Sunday, August 28, 2016

Grove Park Master Plan Development On Hog Mountain Road Dependent On Oconee County’s Limited Sewage Treatment Capacity

Houses Close Together

Drivers traveling on Hog Mountain Road heading west from Butler’s Crossing in recent months have come upon a collection of tightly clustered, similarly designed homes facing the roadway.

Further from the road, additional homes are being built, with a total of 45 dwelling units planned for the subdivision.

Grove Park is unusual in one significant way.

It is being built around a 2-acre lot with a home that was not incorporated into the development.

Grove Park, however, is similar to other master plan developments (MPDs) spread around the county, some under construction and some mothballed.

The homes in Grove Park and the other MPDs can be built close together because the county has promised the developers sewer service, and the homes are not built with septic systems.

Plat Approved

The county began issuing permits for Grove Park only in January of this year, though the project was rezoned back in 2005.

Houses Facing Hog Mountain Road

The Board of Commissioners approved that rezone despite the fact that it did not incorporate a property owned by Carolyn Hoeker (or Howker, the tax records use both spellings) sitting in the middle of the subdivision.

The county approved a revised preliminary plat for the subdivision in November of 2013.

That plat shows four rows of tightly clustered houses back to back, with the first row–the one already built--facing Hog Mountain Road.

A fifth row contains four houses and a small “neighborhood park" of 5,275 square feet.

The four rows of houses stacked behind the first row will look much like the row completed.

Commercial Property

The existing homes in that first row are built on lots ranging in size from 5,745 square feet to 6,694 square feet, and the four rows behind that first row have similarly sized lots. One lot is as small as 5,002 square feet in size.

Larger lots sit just to the west of the already built row of houses and on the rear of the property, though those lots in the rear are mostly sized from 5,000 to 6,500 square feet.

The subdivision contains a retention pond at the rear and a pool next to the Hoeker home.

Five commercial building sit in two large lots facing Hog Mountain Road east of the row of homes already built.

Permits Issued

The county has been issuing building permits for Grove Park throughout the year, and it issued six on Aug. 17.

The permits for three of the five houses in the completed front row were issued in January, and the permits for the remaining two were issued in April.

All of the buildings are on at-grade slabs and are two stories tall.

They have three or four bedrooms and two or three full baths.

Total heated square footage ranges from 2,138 to 2,444.

Estimated construction costs for each is $125,000.

Distances And Sewers

The front yard setback on the houses is 10 feet, and the side yard setback is five feet, meaning the houses are 10 feet apart.

The homes have a minimum 400 square foot private yard or patio in the rear, with a rear yard setback of 0 feet.

The subdivision has a sewage pump station at the rear of the property.

The residential portion of Grove Park has an allocation of 9,360 gallons per day of sewage capacity, and the commercial component has another 10,600 gallons per day. Treatment was assigned to the Calls Creek sewage treatment plant outside Watkinsville.

These amounts are small compared with the 168,688 gallons per day allocated to the nearby and inactive Parkside.

The county has oversold its sewage capacity and is struggling at present to meet the need as these dormant subdivisions come to life.


Grove Park, as is the case with many of he MPDs around the county, has had a variety of owners over the years.

In 2004 it was owned by RJC Land Development Inc., according to county tax records.

Next it went to Oconee Coldwater Creek LLC.

From there it went to Security Bank of Gwinnett County in a foreclosure.

From there it went to the State Bank and Trust Co.

The next owners were Grove Park Development Partners LLC.

The present owner is Athens Construction Group LLC.

Abe Abouhamdan, the chair of the county’s Land Use and Transportation Planning Committee, is the authorized agent for the development, according to the 2013 revised preliminary plat filed in the county’s Planning Department.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Oconee County Getting A Brand New 8-Foot-By-12-Foot, Two-Sided LED Sign–On Mars Hill Road

35 Feet Above Ground

A crew began work yesterday (Friday) on the large sign Oconee County permitted for just south of the intersection of Mars Hill Road and Daniells Bridge Road, and by the end of the day today (Saturday) the pole base was installed and sign materials were above the base suspended from a crane.

When completed, the top of the 8-foot-by-12-foot LED sign will be 35 feet about ground level.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Athens-Clarke County Has Excess Capacity At Its Middle Oconee Sewer Plant, Close To Oconee County

Also Has Sewer Line

Athens-Clarke County has excess capacity at its Middle Oconee Water Reclamation Facility, the sewer plant closest to Oconee County, an analysis of the Discharge Monitoring Reports for the plant since January of this year shows.

Athens-Clarke County also has a gravity feed sewer line running along its side of McNutt Creek, paralleling the sewer line that Oconee County is building from Bogart to Epps Bridge Parkway on its side of the stream.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dolvin Foundation Considering Plans For Recreational And Educational Facility On Land Surrounding Oconee County’s Elder Mill Bridge

Mill Essential Component

Trustees for the Elizabeth Price Dolvin Foundation are exploring the possibility of creating an Oconee County environmental and heritage center modeled after a similar facility in Gwinnett County.

The facility would be on Elder Mill Road and incorporate property owned by the late Elizabeth Price Dolvin surrounding the iconic Elder Mill Bridge.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hard Labor Creek Management Board Moves Forward With Design Work For Apalachee River Intake

In Market To Sell Water

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board last week agreed to spend $93,536 for design work for the intake structure on the Apalachee River across from North High Shoals that can be used in the future to expand the size of the reservoir.

The Board also reviewed plans for a water treatment plant for the reservoir that would rely on membrane filtration technology. Actual construction of the plant is thought to be at least three years away as neither county has a need for the water filling in the reservoir.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

All Three Candidates For Oconee County BOC Post 2 Agree To Participate In Election Forum

Set For Sept. 15

All three candidates for the special election on Nov. 8 to fill Post 2 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners have agreed to participate in an election forum set for 7 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Community Center in Veterans Park.

Oconee County School Superintendent Dr. Jason Branch also has agreed to answer questions on the district’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education question, which also will be on the ballot in November.

Expenses For Mars Hill Road Work Mislabeled In Presentation To Public On Request Of Oconee County Commission Chairman

Email Messages Show

Oconee County administrators, to accommodate Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis, intentionally mislabeled $15,000 in expenses in giving a public presentation in June of a bill for added design work for Mars Hill Road.

Moreland Altobelli Associates Inc. billed the county $10,000 for requested design work to reconnect Old Mars Hill Road to Mars Hill Road and $5,000 for design work on a median break requested by businessman Doug Dickens.