Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oconee County Holding Meeting On Future Land Use Along Widened Mars Hill Road

Second Of Three

Oconee County is scheduled to hold a meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow night to allow the public to react to preliminary findings regarding a possible overlay district for the Mars Hill Road corridor.

The meeting, to be held at the Community Center in Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road, is a sequel to a session held on July 23, where about 20 attendees got an introduction to the process for creation of a district.

An overlay district, if adopted by the Board of Commissioners, could set standards and provide guidance for changes in the existing land use along Mars Hill Road once the ongoing widening is completed in a little more than two years.

A second forum is scheduled for Sept. 17, when the public will get an opportunity to react to recommendations of Ross and Associates, the urban planning firm hired by the county to assist with the study and implementation of the overlay district.

Maps Released

Before the July 23 meeting, also held at the Community Center, the county released four maps with the proposed boundaries of the overlay district.

Map 1 With Hodges Mill Road Intersection Above
Proposed District Outlined In Black Dashed Line
Click to Enlarge

The maps show clearly the current diversity of zoning in the area affected, with approved land use ranging from residential to business to commercial.

The proposed district lines reflect property boundaries but often are jagged and cut through existing subdivisions, meaning some homeowners would be covered by provisions of the overlay while neighbors would not.

The overlay district would add regulations to those already existing in the county for land use and development.

Contract Signed

The Board of Commissioners has been discussing the possibility of creating an overlay district for the Mars Hill Road corridor since at least January, and it signed a contract with Ross and Associates on June 22.

The contract calls for payment of up to $9,200 to the company for creating the district boundaries, generating citizen participation, preparing findings and recommendations, and forwarding those recommendations for adoption.

Hodges Mill Road Intersection With Mars Hill Road

After the meeting on Sept. 17, Bill Ross of Ross and Associates is proposing to present the recommendations to the county’s Planning Commission, its Citizen Advisory Committee for Land Use and Transportation Planning, and then the Board of Commissioners.

Citizens who cannot attend the meeting tomorrow night can provide feedback via a comment form available on the county web site.

The overlay district extends from SR 316 to the U.S. 441 bypass, though construction is underway only for the portion of the project from SR 316 to Hog Mountain Road in Butler’s Crossing.

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