The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority has entered into a contract to sell Andrew Clyde of Clyde Armory 18 acres south of SR 316 so Clyde can build a shooting range on the site.
Clyde will need to get a change in zoning for the land, now classified for agricultural use, before he can build the shooting range.
BOC Chairman Melvin Davis serves on the IDA as an ex-officio member.
The land surrounding the proposed shooting range also is zoned agricultural, but most of the small tracts have homes on them, and the area is residential in character.
The IDA owns the land Clyde is under contract to buy as part of its Gateway Technology and Business Park, most of which is located north of SR 316 on the southern edge of Bogart.
The site proposed for the shooting range is part of a triangle created by SR 316, McNutt Creek Road and Pete Dickens Road.
The site Clyde is under contract to buy consists of two non-adjoining properties, one 4.8 acres in size and the other 13.4 acres. The larger tract has access to McNutt Creek Road, while the smaller tract is closer to but does not have direct access to Pete Dickens Road.
The two parcels originally were part of the larger properties north of SR 316 that form the core of Gateway Park.
IDA Contract Extension
In July of last year, the IDA agreed to sell the 18 acres to Clyde, who owns Clyde Armory, 4800 Atlanta Highway in Athens-Clarke County, for $203,472.
In July of this year, the IDA moved the closing date on the property to Nov. 15 of this year.
On Oct. 16, the IDA voted to extend its purchase agreement with Andrew Clyde until Nov. 15, 2015. That decision had been made by the IDA on Oct. 13 in an executive session, which Clyde attended.
|Proposed Shooting Range |
Behind Houses On Left
No indication was given in the public meetings of the reasons for the extension of the contract.
Mary Lenihan, who gave her email address as with Partner Engineering and Science Inc., a national firm with offices in Atlanta, filed an open records request with the county on Aug. 12 asking about the zoning classification for the property as well as information on underground and above ground storage tanks and permits for wastewater discharge.
Brad Callender from the Oconee County Planning Department also went into the executive session on Oct. 13.
The proposed use of the property Clyde has under contract has not been discussed in the public parts of the various IDA meetings, but someone left a comment on my posting on Oct. 26 about Clyde’s plans for the property.
B.R. White, director of the Oconee County Planning Department, told me on Tuesday (Oct. 28) that Clyde has not yet filed an application for rezoning of his property but confirmed he has inquired about rezoning the property for a shooting range.
I talked with Clyde at his business by telephone the next day and asked about his plans for the property, but he said “There is nothing I can actually discuss right now.”
Clyde lives in Jackson County.
According to the county’s Unified Development Code, Clyde would be applying for “archery and shooting range” in the general category of Arts, Entertainment and Amusement use.
Such a use would be allowed with a special use permit in the A-1 Agricultural District in which the property currently is zoned.
Clyde also could apply for a B-1 General Business District, B-2 Highway Business District, or TB Technology Business District zoning category, in which a shooting range would be allowed.
IDA and Prezoning
The IDA interjected itself--at the encouragement of the BOC--into a broader zoning issue by recommending in August that the county pre-zone all parcels in corridors along both SR 316 and U.S. 78 consistent with the county’s intended long-term use of the land.
The property owned by the IDA and under contract to Clyde would fall in such a corridor, given that it borders SR 316.
Under the current zoning laws, the IDA, as owner of the 18 acres Clyde is to buy, could have requested a rezone of the property from its current designation.
Landowners seeking to sell property for commercial use often get the rezone first to make the land more marketable, and the IDA rezoned its land north of 316 to Technology Business District before selling a part of that land for a biopharmaceutical plant.
For the 18 acres south of SR 316, he IDA has left that rezone responsibility to Clyde, who is unlikely to close the deal on the property until he is assured one way or the other that he will get the rezone he wants.