Sunday, August 31, 2014

Freddy’s At Epps Bridge Centre Expected To Be Selling Custard In December, According To Oconee County Permit

Footers For Cheddar's Too

Oconee County has issued a building permit for Freddys’ Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, and construction is underway for the foundation footers for that building and for Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, to be located next door at the Epps Bridge Parkway entrance to Epps Bridge Centre.

The two restaurants will occupy reconfigured outparcels 1 and 2 in Epps Bridge Centre, bringing to three the number of outparcels in the complex with tenants. The core of the mall is surrounded by a total of 12 outparcels.

Turnout Rates In Oconee County May Primary And July Runoff Elections Mask Low Overall Election Participation

16.1 Percent Voted Both Elections

Oconee County’s 23.4 percent turnout in the May 20 primary election and 20.9 percent turnout in the July 22 runoff mask the fact that a smaller percentage of the county’s electorate participated in both elections.

Only 16.1 percent of the electorate voted both in May and again in July, with another 7.2 percent participating in the May primary but not in the July runoff and 4.8 percent voting in the July runoff but not in the May election.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oconee County Commissioners Approve One New Road But Put A Halt To Three Controversial Road Project Agreements With State

Discussion Of Prezoning Continues

The landowners behind Wal-Mart and Lowe's on Epps Bridge Parkway got approval of a contract for design work for a new roadway to open up their land for future development.

The Industrial Development Authority got encouragement to continue its work on prezoning of land now classified for other use to spur more commercial and industrial development in the county.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oconee County To Consider Design Work For Roadway To Open More Land For Development Across From Epps Bridge Centre

Gordy Family Tract

Oconee County will soon begin design work for an extension of Parkway Boulevard, which will open up new land for development behind Lowe’s and Wal-Mart, if the Board of Commissioners approves a design services contract for the project tomorrow night.

The new Parkway Boulevard would be an extension of the road that now leads to Kohl’s from Epps Bridge Parkway. The new road would turn back to and connect with the new Oconee Connector, crossing 114 acres owned by the Evelyn and Frank Gordy Family and 41 acres owned by Rod and J.L. Wright.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Oconee County Development Authority Says County Should Begin Zoning Land To Meet County Plans

US 78 And SR 316 Corridors Identified

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority is calling on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to set aside its current practice of rezoning property only when an owner requests the change in favor of advance zoning to reflect county plans for future development.

The IDA is scheduled to deliver a report to the commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday night calling on the county to identify key commercial corridors and “pre-zone all parcels in those corridors consistent with the intended long-term use.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Oconee County Commissioners Scheduled To Get An Update On Controversial GDOT Project Framework Agreements

No Action Expected

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to get an update on Tuesday night on pending project agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation for widening of Jimmy Daniell Road, for widening of Daniells Bridge Road, and for construction of an extension of Daniells Bridge Road.

At present, the BOC is not scheduled to take any action on those agreements.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mars Hill Road Widening Will Be “Fun” And “Painful,” Oconee County Public Works Director Told Citizen Group

Work To Start Soon

Oconee County Public Works Director Emil Beshara last week described the upcoming reconstruction and widening of Mars Hill road as “fun,” “challenging” and “painful” in his latest update of the project to the Citizen Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning.

Beshara said he expects construction crews to be on the site next month or the month after and to continue working on the project for three years.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Federal Government Approves Money To Protect Farmland In South Of Oconee County

Ludwig Farm

The federal government has approved $182,000 for protection of the Carole Ludwig farm in the south of Oconee County as part of the new federal farmland protection program, Sharon Holbrooks, easement specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservative Service, announced last night.

Funding was approved in early August for the Ludwig farm, Holbrooks told a gathering at the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center of the University of Georgia at Government Station Road and Experiment Station Road.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oconee County Cities Will Be Holding Liquor-By-Drink Referendums On Nov. 4 By Default

1987 Law

Five intertwined but distinct Oconee County elections will be held on liquor by the drink on Nov. 4, though voters may not be aware of the complexity of the decisions they will be making.

Officially, voters will be asked if they want to allow “the governing authority of Oconee County” to “issue licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Oconee County Issued Building Permit For Cheddar’s At Epps Bridge Centre

Without Liquor

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office last week granted a building permit to C&P Restaurant Company of Macon for construction of a Cheddar’s restaurant at the Epps Bridge Parkway entranceway to Epps Bridge Centre.

The permit is for a 8,385-square-foot wood and steel building. Cost is listed on the permit as $2.3 million.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oconee County Planning Commission To Review Another Continuing Care Facility Proposal On Virgil Langford Road

Near Thrive

Eco Development Group of Athens is asking the Oconee County Planning Commission to recommend rezone of a mothballed residential subdivision off Virgil Langford Road so is can build what it calls a “seniors continuum of care retirement community.”

The request parallels in significant ways the 2012 request by Presbyterian Homes of Georgia to rezone an unbuilt subdivision on Rocky Branch Road for a continuing care retirement community, the official classification that also would apply to the Eco Development Group project.

Oconee County Public Works Director Criticizes State Transportation Project Agreements Now Under Review

At Citizen Meeting

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners should not approve three pending project agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation without a clearer understanding of project details, the county’s Public Works director told a citizen group last Tuesday night.

The agreements call for one project on Jimmy Daniell Road and two projects on Daniells Bridge Road, but Public Works Director Emil Beshara said the county should not allow GDOT planners “who may or may not have been influenced by other forces, dictate to us what our projects are.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Watkinsville Tables Discussion Of Liquor Referendum Pending Clarification Of Oconee County Vote

Attorneys To Confer

Watkinsville City Council tonight tabled discussion of a possible liquor-by-the-drink referendum in the city until it can get clarification on the legal implications of a county-wide referendum already on the November ballot.

While the Oconee County Board of Commissioners and County Attorney Daniel Haygood have discussed the November referendum entirely in terms of its impact on the unincorporated parts of the county, Watkinsville City Attorney Joe Reitman said the county referendum could affect the city as well.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Developers Of Oconee County Student Housing Complex Turn Attention To Nearby Restaurants And Commercial Center

Alcohol Ordinanace Applies

With the student housing complex Athens Ridge on Old Macon Highway now fully leased, Kelly Mahoney said he is turning his attention to the future commercial complex across the street.

The goal is to make that complex, named The Falls of Oconee, a “more boutique version of Butler’s Crossing,” Mahoney said last week.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

State Borrows Money To Award Contract For Mars Hill Road Project In Oconee County

Boswell Says Thanks

The Georgia Department of Transportation sent out a news release on Tuesday announcing that it had awarded the contract for the widening and reconstruction of Mars Hill Road to G.P.’s Enterprises Inc. of Auburn, Ga.

The announcement was not a surprise, as G.P.’s Enterprises Inc. was the low bidder among the four companies that had submitted bids. It also had received the contract for the work on the Oconee Connector Extension back in 2009.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Oconee County Commissioners Put Liquor and SPLOST On November Ballot

Road Agreements Delayed

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tonight voted to put both a 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum and a referendum on liquor by the drink in restaurants on the November 4 ballot.

The Commissioners also denied a request for a cell tower on McRees Mill Road in the rural area of the county south of Barnett Shoals Road and postponed action on three agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation on road projects on Daniells Bridge Road and Jimmy Daniell Road.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Thrive Senior Living Announces Revised Plans for Oconee County Assisted Living Facility

Permits Not Yet Issued

Anyone who went to the future location of Thrive Senior Living off Virgil Langford Road over the weekend in response to a news release issued last week by the company would have been surprised by what they didn’t find.

“Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living has broken ground this week at The Village at Athens, an innovate new Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Athens, GA,” the news release on PRWeb stated, complete with the typing error for “innovative.”

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Oconee County Board Of Commissioners To Deal With Liquor, A Cell Tower And Three GDOT Project Agreements

Busy Tuesday Night Agenda

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners will take up three controversial items on Tuesday night, each of which could bring out a crowd.

The first, in order of appearance on the agenda, is a call for a referendum on the sale of distilled spirits by the drink in restaurants in the county.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Wilkes Defeated Hale In Oconee County GOP Runoff By Adding Votes In All 13 County Precincts

Got Caudill Votes

W.E. “Bubber” Wilkes defeated incumbent Margaret Hale in the July 22 runoff for Post 3 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners by adding votes in each of the county’s 13 precincts over his May 20 tally.

Wilkes almost certainly picked up the majority of the 892 votes cast for Maria Caudill in the May 20 Republican Primary, an analysis of the precinct data from both elections indicates.