Land planning firm Williams and Associates filed documents with the Oconee County Planning Department on Monday proposing a $57 million project, including an assisted living facility, medical offices and a hotel, for the northeast corner of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector.
The project, being referred to as Resurgence Park, will require the county to change zoning for the 30-acre parcel to allow for the assisted living facility.
|Resurgence Park From Connector--|
Heading North At SR 316
The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night approved a change in sewer policy that will allow the assisted living facility to be classified as commercial. The county has exceeded the amount of sewer capacity it has set aside for residential use.
The plans submitted by Williams and Associates have not yet been reviewed by county planning staff, Planner Brad Callender told me on Friday afternoon, and details of the project can change as a result of that review process.
Main And Outparcels
The project consists of two parts.
The first is a commercial subdivision of nine lots, totaling 27.9 acres. This subdivision is to be accessed off Virgil Langford Road east of the Oconee Connector, and the hotel and the assisted living facility are part of this section of the project.
The second, 2.5-acre parcel is being developed as an out-parcel from the larger lot and is to be access from the roadway looping within the larger parcel.
The outparcel will contain a single building to be used as a medical office.
Nichols Land And Investment
Both parcels will be developed by Nichols Land and Investment Company, 2500 Daniells Bridge Road, Building 200, according to the documents submitted to the Planning Department.
The 30-acre tract is owned by LCN Oconee LLC and Frank Halpin of Canton, according to county tax records. The Georgia Secretary of State database does not list officers of LCN Oconee.
LCN Oconee LLC and Halpin own another four acres separated from the parcels being developed by abandoned remnants of Virgil Langford Road and Jennings Mill Road.
The prominent signs by Nichols at the corner of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector on the property proposed for development list the total 34 acres for sale.
Simple B-1 Zoning
Halpin and LCN Oconee are seeking a simple B-1 classification for the property that will make up the Resurgence Park outparcel and B1 and B2 zoning for Resurgence Park proper.
The land currently is zoned B-1 Planned Unit Development, an old category that precludes use of the land for the assisted living facility.
The land, along with part of property then owned by L. Coleman Norris, was split up by SR 316 and the necessitated relocations of Daniells Bridge Road, Jennings Mill Road, Virgil Langford Road and Epps Bridge Road.
|Sign On Property|
The construction of the Oconee Connector and the closure of what had been an intersection of SR 316 with Jennings Mill Road, crossing to Daniells Bridge Road, further altered the properties.
Much of the land on the south side of SR 316 that was rezoned to B1 PUD in 1994 already has been developed, including for the building housing the Nichols office on Daniells Bridge Road. The land prior to that time had been zoned for agriculture.
According to the submitted documents, Resurgence Park will include a five-story hotel with 100 rooms. The total size of the building will be 70,000 square feet.
The assisted living facility will contain 85 beds in a 60,000-square-foot building.
The remaining buildings are labeled as medical/general office, according to the submitted documents. The smallest will have 25,000 square feet of space.
The single building on the outparcel is expected to be 19,000 square feet in size.
Manhole On SR 316
The plans say that sewage from Resurgence Park will connect with an existing “sanitary sewer manhole” next to SR 316.
Chris Thomas, Utility Department director, told me on Tuesday that a sewer line flows under SR 316 and will allow for a connection to the county’s sewage system.
Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis initiated the change in sewer policy on behalf of Jon Williams, president of Williams and Associates, so the assisted living facility would not be classified as residential.
This same issue came up when Presbyterian Homes of Georgia proposed putting its continuing care retirement community on Rocky Branch Road.
Thomas Memo In 2012
Thomas indicated in a memo to then County Administrative Officer Alan Theriault on Aug. 16, 2012, that there was no residential sewer capacity available. He changed his position when reminded by County Attorney Daniel Haygood that continuing care retirement communities were to be classified as commercial rather than residential.
The policy change on Tuesday added assisted living facilities to the list of residential facilities classified as commercial.
The resolution passed restated the policy that no more than 50 percent of sewer capacity can be allocated to residential, and the BOC also restated its position that future capacity is to be 100 percent dedicated to commercial and industrial use.
PHG Changed Plans
In the meantime, Presbyterian Homes of Georgia has changed its plans and is now looking for an alternate to the Rocky Branch Road location.
B.R. White, director of the Oconee County Planning Department, sent me a copy of an email message he received at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday from Robin Sumner, executive assistant to Presbyterian Homes. She is based in Quitman in south Georgia, according to the signature.
She attached a letter from Frank H. McElroy Jr., president and CEO of Presbyterian Homes, saying “we have decided to withdraw our request for rezoning of the property” on Rocky Branch Road.
McElroy’s letter was dated May 7, 2013.