The Oconee County Board of Commissioners last (Tuesday) night gave unanimous approval to a string of rezone requests, including one that will allow a convenience store in an agricultural zone and another that will allow for conversion of a dormant golf course into a campus for a ministry college.
Both the convenience store and the college campus are in the far eastern part of the county, on the eastern side of the Oconee River, where Oconee, Clarke and Oglethorpe counties meet.
The Board approved two variances for the convenience store to allow it to bypass the county requirement that it be buffered from surrounding agricultural and residential properties and to exempt it from the requirement that it have off-street parking.
The ministry college will launch with a private well and septic system, but it will require water and sewer services as it expands to its projected 750 students.
The Board required the developers of the campus, Athens College of Ministry, to attempt to get the water service in the future from Oconee County rather than from Athens-Clarke County.
Three of the zoning requests before the Commission involved special use requests to use land zoned for agriculture for a non-agricultural use.
|Representative Photos Submitted For Convenience Store|
(Click To Enlarge)
The Board approved a request by Watkinsville First Baptist Church, on Simonton Bridge Road at Norton Road just east of the city limits of Watkinsville, to expand is campus on just less than 18 acres zoned for agriculture.
Green Hills Farms LLC was given permission for the use of 100 acres on Barnett Shoals Road zoned for agriculture for the ministry college. Green Hill Farms will sell the land to the Athens College of Ministry.
Pat and Marsha Halloran were given special use approval for the convenience store without fuel pumps on the south side of Bob Godfrey Road and east side of Belmont Road on agriculturally-zoned land.
The Hallorans proposed to build a general store with the “character and aesthetic of 1920s Georgia” that would not sell alcohol, tobacco or lottery or other gambling products and services.
The Commission also approved a request by RWJ Inc. to allow for 11 lots in a subdivision off Daniells Bridge Road called Downs Creek.
RWJ sold two lots in the subdivision to an adjacent land owner and wanted to change the plans for the remaining 33 acres to allow the same number of lots as originally proposed.
The Board of Commissioners also approved a request from William Kirk McClellan to allow for three lots on 10 acres, on Clotfelter Road.
I was not able to attend the Commission meeting, but Sarah Bell did and informed me of the vote outcomes.
Bell said that five people spoke in favor of the ministry college special use and one spoke against and that nine people spoke in favor of the convenience story special use and one person, speaking neither for nor against, asked for a four-way stop sign at the intersection. No one spoke on the other rezone requests.
I will upload the video that Bell recorded as soon as I am able to obtain it from her.
Note 1 18 2017: The video from the meeting is HERE.
I attended the meeting as an observer and one correction is that one person did speak against the convenience store.
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