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.

Proposed Home of The Fairways

PHG ran into significant opposition from residents of active and built-out subdivisions on Rocky Branch Road, and it ultimately withdrew its request because of difficulties in obtaining sewage service.

The project before the Planning Commission tomorrow night also has some challenges in terms of sewage service, and some of the adjoining property is residential, but other adjoining parcels are zoned for business and medical park use.

The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. in the courthouse in Watkinsville.

Fairways Senior Community

Eco Development Group is the owner of 24.6 acres of land that sits behind a medical business park on both sides of Langford Drive. That road intersects Virgil Langford Road just east of its intersection with SR 316.

Langford Drive is just west of the Three Sixteen Professional Quarter medical complex, approved by the Board of Commissioners in rezoning action in February of 2013. Much of the construction in that complex is completed.

Eco Development Group is proposing to redevelop the 24.5-acre tract into a continuing care retirement community that would include one multi-story building, 23 two-unit cottages, and one separate two-bedroom unit.

The multi-story building would be 112,000-square-feet in size and feature 158 beds, a full service dining facility, a kitchen, a beauty shop and other similar facilities.

The 23 cottages would each have two bedrooms.

Nearby Facility

Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living has announced plans for an assisted living facility further east on Virgil Langford Road, across the Oconee Connector in Resurgence Park.

The Thrive project is being called The Village at Athens. Site plans filed with the county show a 48,279-square-foot-building on a 4.9-acre site.

Thrive told the county it was planning for an 85-bed assisted living and dementia facility on the site.

A news release issued by the company last month indicated some of those plans had changed, but nothing reflecting that announcement has been filed with the county.

Presbyterian Homes of Georgia has indicated it is looking for another site for a continuing care facility in the area.

The Meadows

The 24.6 acres for the Eco Development Group Fairways project had been zoned R-3 Master Plan Development for local landowner and businessman Mike Power in 2005 but had not been fully developed.

Called The Meadows Phase IV, the site was to be a residential development including single family homes and condominiums. It was to include 116 units.

According to the narrative for The Fairways proposal, the site has 25 platted residential lots, 78 platted townhouse pads, roadways and water and sewer infrastructure.

The Fairways project will include a 1,200-square-foot clubhouse in addition to the living units.

According to the project narrative, Eco Development will seek to create a paved pedestrian and cart path to adjoining Jennings Mill Country Club.

Sewer Services

Eco Development is asking the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Commissioners that the 24.6 acres be rezoned from R-3 MPD to an Office Institutional Professional classification.

The Oconee County Planning Department staff have recommended approval of the project on the condition that the development is connected to the Oconee County water and sewer systems at the developer’s expense and suitable to the Oconee County Utility Department.

In 2004, the county told then owner Power that he could have sewer capacity from the treatment capacity the county had purchased in 1994 from Athens-Clarke County. MPD developments required residential sewer service rather than septic systems.

On Aug. 14 of this year, Oconee County Utility Department Director Chris Thomas told Beall and Company, representing Eco Development Group, that only part of the 23,334 gallons per day of needed sewer service can be provided through the Athens-Clarke County agreement.

The developer will have to build sewer infrastructure to access the county’s own treatment system at its own expense to obtained the additional 8,374 gallons in needed capacity, Thomas wrote.

Eco Development

According to the Georgia Secretary of State corporate records, Eco Development Group LLC has its offices at 1280 West Broad Street in Athens and Jared York is the registered agent for the legal entity.

York is the president of J.W. York Homes of that same address, according to the company’s web site.

That web site says the company specializes in the design and constructioin of both custom and speculative single family homes.

The site says the company specializes in efficient and environmentally friendly homes.

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