The Bogart City Council tomorrow (Monday) night is scheduled to take up a residential rezone request in the city that has raised questions about the county’s willingness to grant sewer capacity for a residential development.
At the Planning Commission meeting on Nov. 14, Jon Williams, representing the developers, told the commissioners that the property owners were working with the county to provide residential service to the 37-lot single family subdivision.
Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie said subsequently that the county has turned down the request because it does not have the ability to allocate its limited residential sewer capacity for the project.
The Bogart Council will have to decide if it wants to approve the rezone with the condition that it will have to be built with septic tanks rather than county sewer services.
School System Concern
The rezone request by Lovett-Keller Ventures LLC to convert 28.3 acres in Bogart from a commercial subdivision to a residential one generated concerns with Oconee County School System officials, as reported by The Oconee Enterprise in its lead story in the Nov. 17 edition of the paper.
|Site Of Proposed Subdivision|
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School system Chief Operations Officer Jack Grant wrote to B.R. White, director of the Oconee County Planning Department, on Nov. 10 regarding the Lovett-Keller rezone as well as another initially on the Planning Commission agenda for property across from Daniells Plantation outside Butler’s Crossing.
“Oconee County Schools wishes to express concern with the approval of any additional increase in residential building lots beyond the thousands previously approved,” Grant wrote. “We ask that moving forward, an abundant amount of caution be applied.”
The Planning Commission postponed action on the second rezone but approved the Lovett-Keller request, sending it to the Bogart City Council for final action.
Sewers The Concern
The Planning Commission didn’t discuss the letter from Grant at its meeting on Nov. 14, but it did raise questions about the availability of county sewer services for the residential development.
Andrew Stern, county planner, told the Commission that the “county has not accepted water and sewer” for the project during his presentation of the rezone request.
In response to questions, Planning Director White said “to my knowledge, the county has not accepted sewer there.” White acknowledged that a sewage lift or pump station was on the property.
“I believe the county has actually been given that lift station by the current property owner,” Williams from planning and engineering firm Williams and Associates said. He said Lovett-Keller is working with the county “to try to get sewer on the property for residential.”
Utility Department Director Haynie told me in a telephone conversation on Nov. 21 that the county has rejected a request from Lovett-Keller for residential sewer for the project.
“We are overallocated for residential,” Haynie said.
Haynie said the county would have accepted an application for sewer capacity for the project had it remained commercial, but no plan had ever been submitted for such use.
The county accepted an easement on July 26 of this year for a parcel that had been part of the original commercial development that included a sewage pump station.
The agreement stated that Lovett-Keller would be “entitled to connect” to the county sewer system “in accordance with the Wastewwater Treatment Capacity Policy, adopted March 1, 2016.”
Haynie cited that wastewater policy in rejected the request for residential sewer.
Diane Craft, city clerk of Bogart, told Lovett-Keller in a letter dated Sept. 22, 2016, that the city “is in agreement to consider your rezoning application from a commercial use to a residential use without current capacity in hand.”
The Council tomorrow night will have to decide how to respond to the rezone with the knowledge that the developer will not have residential sewer.
Williams, of William and Associates, said the developer would have to decide what course of action to take based on the ability of the property to handle septic waste if county sewer services were not available. Bogart does not have its own sewerage treatment capability.
The Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Hall in Bogart.
The complete video of the Planning Commission meeting of Nov. 14 is available on the Vimeo site of Oconee County Observations.
The Bogart rezone request was the first item on the agenda.