The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tomorrow (Tuesday) night will be asked to decide if it wants to modify its 2007 rezone for a 100-acre subdivision on Malcom Bridge Road to accommodate the request of the developer to allow construction on raised slabs.
The Board of Commissioners in 2007 specifically stated that all houses constructed within the development were to be built using a crawl space or basement foundation, and the current land owners are asking the Board to overturn that decision.
Slab construction has come up several times in recent years, as moribund developments have come back to life and new developers want to modify the originally-approved plans. Slabs are allowed in the county’s Unified Development Code.
S.R. Companies of Cumming wants to develop what is being called Malcom Bridge Estates and argues that crawl spaces have moisture problems if not maintained correctly and that slabs are the modern way to do construction.
The Planning Commission didn’t agree and recommended denial in a 5 to 4 vote on Oct. 16. The staff of the county’s Planning and Code Enforcement Department also had recommended denial.
With an agenda dominated by rezoning hearings, the Board of Commissioners also is being asked tomorrow night to rezone part of the parking lot of The Church of the Nations on Old Macon Highway for construction of two office buildings in a fast-developing section of the county.
The Church Of The Nations
Behavior Safety Products LLC, 29A North Main Street in Watkinsville is asking that less than an acre of the parking lot of The Church of the Nations be rezoned for two office buildings not to exceed 7,200 square feet in total size.
|The Church Of The Nations Office Buildings|
The buildings are proposed as one-story structures. The rezone narrative states that the proposed uses may include professional offices, medical offices, or offices for attorneys.
The two buildings would be at the entrance to the Athens Ridge student housing complex.
On Oct. 26, the Oconee County Planning and Code Enforcement Department issued three building permits in that same area.
One permit was for a 4,050-square-foot office and warehouse in what is being called Falls of Oconee II, which is on the same side of Old Macon Highway as Athens Ridge and The Church of the Nations.
A second permit was for build out of one of the existing buildings across the street in Falls of Oconee for a nail salon. The salon will be 1,500 square feet in size.
The third permit was for build out of another suite of 1,500 square feet in that same building for a boutique.
Mary Sue Simms Cox and Donna C McElhannon, 2291 and 2201 Malcom Bridge Road, are asking the commissioners to modify the 2007 rezone for what is now pasture land with two residential structures and a barn.
|Malcolm Bridge Road Subdivision|
The proposed subdivision in that 2007 rezone was for 93 residential lots, but the property has not been developed.
Representatives of S.R. Companies argued at the Planning Commission meeting on Oct. 16 that the land was more suitable for slab construction and the current market supports that kind of development.
The staff report states that the intent of the county’s Unified Development Code “is to provide the external appearance of a crawlspace and thereby maintain consistency of the predominant architectural and structural style of single-family residences in Oconee County.”
Assisted Living Facility
Also on the agenda tomorrow night is a request by Cat Creek Development Company of Hahira in Lowndes County for modification of the zoning for what is called Hampton Valley Business Park on U.S. 78 at Ruth Jackson Road.
|Assisted Living Facility|
Part of the 14-acre property fronting on U.S. 78 was zoned for business use in 2004 for a car wash that was never developed.
The remainder of the property was developed as an office complex, but the majority of the property has remained vacant.
Cat Creek is asking for a modification of the business zone from 2004 to allow an assisted living facility where the car wash was proposed.
The modification is necessary because the 2004 zoning ordinance specifically excluded a nursing home, convalescent center, group personal care home, and assisted living as a primary use.
Butler’s Crossing Development
BCPC Holdings of Bogart is asking the Commission to modify the zoning of 8 acres on Experiment Station Road on the eastern side of the Publix Shopping Center in Butler’s Crossing.
|Butler's Crossing Office Park|
The property was rezoned for an office park with seven lots in 2000 but never developed.
The seven parcels will be combined into a single parcel that will be developed as a condominium office park, if the rezone is approved.
The developer is proposing 12 buildings not to exceed 63,700 total square feet.
The Commission also will be asked to grant two hardship variances at the meeting tomorrow night.
One is to allow the owner of a 102-acre property called Mercury Farms on the south side of Hale Road between Salem Road and Carson Graves Road to divide the property into four parcels along an unpaved road.
The other would allow James H. Frazier to construct a guest house in front of the main house on his 7.6-acre property, 1424 Elder Road, southwest of Maxey Road and Elder Road.
The video below is of the Oct. 16 meeting of the Oconee County Planning Commission.
The rezone request by BCPC Holdings in Butler’s Crossing starts at 1:53 in the video.
The rezone request of Mary Sue Sims Cox and Donna C. McElhannon starts at 33:05.
The rezone request of Living Faith The Church of the Nations starts at 1:11:12.
The rezone request of Cat Creek Development Company starts at 1:20:14
A rezone request from Broome Street LLC for a mini-warehouse storage facility in Bogart, which is at 27:02 in the video, does not come before the BOC.
The two variance requests before the BOC tomorrow night were not considered by the Planning Commission, per usual procedures.
OCO: PC 10 16 17 from Lee Becker on Vimeo.
Once again Cheap is on the docket.
Will the Commissioners follow the Planning Commission recommendation?
Or will it cave for that precious Tax Base mantra?
So what happened on the zoning and variance matters?
I did not attend the meeting because of the elections. I spent the evening monitoring the election returns, first at the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration Office and then through the secretary of state web site at home.
Sarah Bell did attend the meeting and made a video recording. I have not had a chance to edit the video or write the story. I will do so.
The slab construction was turned down, as was the variance request for division of the property on an unpaved road. The other requests were approved.
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