Presbyterian Homes has purchased three parcels on U.S. 441 and Welbrook Road, signaling it plans to move forward with its Oconee County continuing care retirement community.
One of those purchases was of a 4-acre parcel that was not included in the rezone approved by the Board of Commissioners in May of last year for the Presbyterian Homes facility.
The 4-acre parcel contains four houses and is at the intersection of Welbrook Road and Hog Mountain Road, giving Presbyterian Homes the possibility of creating an exit from its facility directly onto Hog Mountain Road, rather than onto Welbrook Road.
Residents of Lake Wellbrook subdivision and Phinizy Court had opposed the rezone in part because of the traffic it would put on Welbrook Road.
No post-rezone site plans have been submitted to Oconee County for the Presbyterian Homes facility, B.R. White, Planning Department director, said today.
Westminster Presbyterian Homes Inc.
The three properties were purchased on Jan. 8 by Westminster Presbyterian Homes Inc., of Quitman, Georgia. The purchases have only recently shown up on the county's property records database. Frank H McElroy Jr. is listed as the CEO of Westminster Presbyterian Homes Inc.
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The largest of the three parcels is 49.5 acres, according to Oconee County electronic tax records, and was sold by Tracey B. King as executor to Westminster Presbyterian Homes for $741,900. The property had been owned by Marjorie B. Maxey Life estate.
The second parcel, according to the records, was sold by Crystal Hills LLLP to Westminster Presbyterian Homes for $1,146,900. The sale of the 23.9-acre-parcel is flagged as of “Questionable FMV” on the tax records. FMV stands for fair market value.
The 4-acre parcel also was sold by Tracey B. King as executor to Westminster Presbyterian Homes Inc. The value of the transaction was $200,000, according to the records.
That third parcel contains four small houses, according to the records.
If Presbyterian Homes intends to incorporate the 4-acre parcel into its continuing care retirement community it will need to come back before the Board of Commissioners for a rezone.
At present, the small tract is zoned agricultural/residential.
Three additional parcels not purchased by Presbyterian Homes lie between the 4-acre parcel that was purchased and the corner of Hog Mountain Road and U.S. 441. Those three unpurchased parcels total just more than 5 acres.
In the plans submitted by Presbyterian Homes to the county for last year’s rezone request, the main entrance to the retirement facility would be on U.S. 441, but a secondary entrance was to be on Welbrook Road.
By purchasing the 4-acre parcel at the corner of Hog Mountain Road and Welbrook Road, Presbyterian Homes would seem to have gained another option for the second entrance.
Opposition to Rezone
Opposition to the rezone came mostly from residents of Crystal Hills subdivision, Lake Wellbrook subdivision, and Phinizy Court.
The primary complaint had to do with traffic.
Residents of Lake Wellbrook and Phinizy Court were concerned that traffic would pass through their subdivisions rather than along Hog Mountain Road.
The Board of Commissioners was more concerned about the main entrance on U.S. 441 opposite Lavista Road.
Despite that, the BOC voted unanimously for the rezone, which changed the properties from a business classification to Office-Institutional-Professional
Wild Azalea Lane
The purchase of the parcel from Crystal Hills LLLP did not include the roughly 9 acres on the corner of Wild Azalea Lane and U.S. 441.
Under the rezone approved by the county, those acres reverted from business use to residential use, making them compatible with the neighboring properties in Crystal Hills subdivision.
The original tract was roughly 32 acres in size, and Presbyterian Homes purchased just less than 24 acres.
The sizes of properties on the tax maps and as shown in rezone documents frequently do not match perfectly.