Residents living in subdivisions along Daniells Bridge Road were confronted with a new For Sale sign last month for a property in the sharp curve as the roadway veers away from the entrance ramp to SR Loop 10.
That property had been rezoned by the Board of Commissioners in December of 2008 despite protest from residents of the subdivisions who felt that the traffic generated by the proposed office building would make the roadway even more dangerous. The new sign joined three others on property along the road that all had been rezoned for commercial or related developments prior to the crash in the real estate market.
|Office Park in Curve|
While the For Sale signs indicate original plans are on hold, it is impossible to know what happens if the property is sold. New owners do not have to follow the plans of those who proposed and obtained the rezones.
The rezones were for a classification of uses, not the specific use proposed by the owner or developer who sought the rezone.
Daniells Bridge Road Rezones Typical
This is true for rezones all around the county, where property rezoned in the building boom now sits idle. For Sale signs stand on many of these properties as well, meaning that what is happening on Daniells Bridge provides a snapshot of what is happening around the county.
When the Board of Commissioners approves a rezone, it does so by approving a resolution that deals specifically with the property under review.
These resolutions often limit building size, set architectural standards, restrict uses of the land, determine the type of lighting, set buffers, and specify the number of entrances to and exits from the property.
But each resolution is different, and unless otherwise specified, the specific location of the building or buildings on the land can be other that what was proposed, as can such things as the parking lot configuration, Oconee County Planning Director B.R. White told me in an email message.
“Some rezoning concept plans are more specific than others,” White wrote, and these plans can set limits “on the uses allowed by the rezone,” he added.
Any purchaser of the land being offered for sale will have to submit a preliminary site plan and site development plans in accordance with the rezoning resolution passed by the BOC, White said.
|Hog Mountain and Daniells Bridge|
The new purchaser also would have to meet requirements of the county’s Uniform Development Code in order to begin work on the project, White said.
The new owner also could seek to rezone the land, to its earlier classification–usually agricultural–or some other classification.
And the new owner could come back before the commissioners to seek modifications of the original rezone resolution.
If the new owner wanted to build a bigger building than proposed, for example, the owner would have to come back to the BOC to be able to do so.
But if the building size stays the same, the new owner meets any specific restrictions in the resolution, and the purchaser makes the same general use of the land as originally proposed, the project completed could look quite different from the project proposed when the rezone was put into place.
Lance and Anglin As Example
The rezone of the property owned by Delores N. Lance and Dorothy N. Anglin on Dec. 2, 2008, from agricultural use to the Office Business Park use stipulated that the development should meet the architectural standards of the submitted plan and screen areas from SR Loop 10 and the access ramp to that road.
The resolution passed by the BOC rezoning the land also required the developer to install central turn lanes on Daniells Bridge Road and to align one of the two entrances with Will Usher Road. The developer also agreed to install acceleration and deceleration lanes at the entrances.
Finally, the developer agreed to provide temporary construction easements should the county need them for construction of what is being called the Daniells Bridge Road Extension–a link between Daniells Bridge Road across SR Loop 10 to the roadway leading to Home Depot from Epps Bridge Parkway.
Any new owner will have to meet these requirements or seek alternations of them from the BOC.
At the time of the rezone request, Stephen Jenkins and Edward Nichols proposed to build a two-story building with a footprint of approximately a 56,000 square feet on the 9-acre tract, though the land remained in the name of Lance and Anglin.
The BOC rezone of the property was part of a settlement of a lawsuit that was filed against the county after the commissioners had turned down an earlier request for the same project.
Residents of the nearby neighborhoods protested both rezone requests. I live in one of those subdivisions and spoke against the rezone.
At the time of the rezone, the county agreed to widen Daniells Bridge Road to three lanes all the way to the development. It never completed that project, widening the roadway only to the entrance to Founders Grove subdivison, west of the blind curve and the project, instead.
According to the Oconee County tax records, the land for the proposed development still is owned by Lance and Anglin.
It is being offered for sale by Nichols Land Development Company, 2500 Daniells Bridge Road. Edward Nichols is the agent for the company, and Steven Jenkins filed the most recent registration document with the Georgia Secretary of State for Nichols Land Development Company.
Hog Mountain Road Intersection
The 7-acre lot at the corner of Daniells Bridge Road and Hog Mountain Road was rezoned on Sept. 6, 2005, from agricultural use. Half of the land was rezoned for business use, and half for Office Business Park use.
The business component of the development was to front on Daniells Bridge and Hog Mountain roads, while the property abutting residences was to be developed as an office park.
The BOC required the developer to install center turn lanes at the project entrances, on Daniells Bridge Road and on Hog Mountain Road.
According to the documents attached as appendices to the resolution passed by the BOC, the project was to be developed by Old Farm Group, and the land was owned by Tom Little, Steve Ebbert and Jim Timberlake.
According to the Oconee County tax records, the property at present is owned by Hog 7 LLC. Timberlake and Ebbert are agent and filer of the records, respectively, in the Georgia Secretary of State corporate database.
The property is being offered for sale by Southern Land Exchange. Ebbert and Little are brokers for the company, according to its web site.
Southern Land Exchange has its offices at 1551 Jennings Mill Road, the same address as for Hog 7, according to the Secretary of State database. Ebbert is the agent for Southern Land Exchange.
Twin Towers Proposed
The 17-acre piece of land on the south side of Daniells Bridge Road near the intersection with the Oconee Connector was rezoned from business use to the more limiting Office Business Park classification on April 3, 2007.
|Was To Be Twin Towers|
At that time, the developers proposed a two-building complex in a “campus-like setting” that would be used for corporate headquarters. Zaxby’s located on adjacent property, was identified as a client.
Building construction was to be concrete and steel. The buildings were to be five-stories and were to be called The Exchanges Towers.
The land was owned by Daniells Bridge Partners LLC, according to the resolution passed by the BOC.
County tax records show the land still is owned by that limited liability company. According to the tax records and the Georgia Secretary of State corporate database, Daniells Bridge Partners LLC has its corporate offices at 1040 Daniells Bridge Road, the headquarters of Zaxby’s.
Tony Townley, one of the founders of Zaxby’s, is listed as the registered agent.
The land is being offered for sale by Southern Land Exchange.
Building D Property
Opposite the site for The Exchanges Towers on Daniells Bridge Road is the fourth piece of property on the roadway bearing a For Sale sign.
It is on a 2-acre parcel that was part of a 17-acre tract rezoned by the BOC on May 1, 2001, from business use to Office Business Park use.
The Information Technology Services building and the Fortson Bentley Griffin Building sit on the larger part of the property.
|Near Info Tech Services|
The property for sale, with frontage on Daniells Bridge Road, is in front of the Fortson Bentley Griffin Building, which has the address of 2500 Daniells Bridge Road. Forton Bentley and Griffin is a law firm.
A concept plan submitted with the rezone request showed four buildings, with Building D roughly in the location of the land now being offered for sale.
Oconee County tax records show the land is owned by GAST-2500 Building D LLC, with Edward Nichols as the agent and 2500 Daniells Bridge Road listed as the address.
It is being offered for sale by Nichols Land Development Company.
Limited Opportunity for Citizen Review
Anyone who purchases any of these four properties would have to submit a preliminary site plan and site development plans, according to Planning Director White. The plans would have to reflect the restrictions in the original rezone resolution, he said.
Once submitted into the office, he said, the plans become available for public viewing.
After submission those plans are reviewed by the Development Review Committee, the meetings of which are open to the public.
The DRC does not offer the public a chance to comment at the DRC meetings, White said.
Public comment was sought at the hearings on the rezones themselves.
If a new owner or the current owner seek any variances to county zoning regulations or to the restrictions that were put into place when the properties were rezoned, a public hearing on those requests would be held and public comment solicited, White said.