Monday, March 13, 2023

Dentist To Be Displaced By GDOT Seeking To Relocate To Residential Lot On Mars Hill Road Near Oconee Connector

***Plans Not Yet Filed With County***

Dr. Brent Nail, whose existing Virgil Langford Road dental office is in the path of the planned new westbound on-ramp to SR 316 from the Oconee Connector, is holding an open house on Thursday to outline plans for his replacement facility.

The location that Nail has selected for his new office is a nearly three-acre lot at 2521 Mars Hill Road that currently has a single-family home on it and is zoned residential.

A flier, which Nail has sent to addresses in nearby subdivisions, states that a goal of the open house is to provide “Details about the process of rezoning and how you can get involved.”

Nail and his wife held an open house on Feb. 2, where he explained that the current brick residence at 2521 Mars Hill Road built in 1973 will be torn down to construct dental offices similar to what he occupies in his Athens Oconee Dentistry at 1285 Virgil Langford Road.

That Virgil Langford Road building was constructed in 2017, according to county tax records.

As of Monday, Nail had not yet submitted any zoning plans to the county for the Mars Hill Road property, according to Guy Herring, Oconee County Director of Planning and Code Enforcement.

GDOT Plans

At a virtual question and answer session held by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) in June of last year, Phil Copeland, a GDOT consultant, said that 12 properties will be impacted by the Oconee Connecter interchange, and seven will be impacted by the Virgil Langford Road bridge.

2521 Mars Hill Road From Hollow Creek Lane

Copeland said that one business, on the northern side of SR 316, will be displaced by Virgil Langford construction.

That building is Nail’s Athens Oconee Dentistry.

The state is planning to build, starting in 2024, a full access, multi-grade intersection of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector and a flyover of Virgil Langford Road of SR. 316. At present Virgil Langford Road does not cross SR. 316.

The westbound on ramp from the Connector to SR 316 will run from the Connector to Virgil Langford Road before merging with SR 316 traffic, according to maps presented by GDOT at that meeting.

“As a result of the Oconee Connector Road Project by the Georgia Department of Transportation,” Nail said in his flier, “our existing building is being taken and we are in need of a new office to continue serving our cherished patients of the Oconee Community.”

Identified Property

The property Nail has identified for his new offices is owned by Nellie F., Steven Lamar, and David R. Hale and was acquired via a survivorship deed in 2017, according to county tax records.

It is one of the largest lots in the Oakridge subdivision and is at the corner of Mars Hill Road and Hollow Creek Lane. Access to the property is via Hollow Creek Lane.

The Hale lot is the only one in the subdivision that faces Mars Hill Road, but four other lots in the subdivision face Old Mars Hill Road, created when Mars Hill Road was widened.

A 3.6-acre lot in the triangle between Mars Hill Road and Old Mars Hill Road is zoned B-2 for Highway Business, but all of the other lots in the Oakridge subdivision are zoned residential.

The Oakridge subdivision abuts the Bond Crossing subdivision along Daandra Drive, which also is residential.

Across Mars Hill Road from the Hale property, however, is a 6.8 acre parcel owned by Deferred Tax LLC that is zoned B-2.

Deferred Tax LLC owner Maxie Price tried unsuccessfully to rezone that and adjoining acreage for a major shopping center with a Publix.

Price has filed suit in Oconee Superior Court to overturn that Feb. 7 decision denying the rezone by the Board of Commissioners.

Atlanta Firm Retained

“By attending the open house you will receive information about our plan for the new location and have the opportunity to provide input on the project,” the flier states. The Open House is at Nail's Virgil Langford Road facility.

“If you are unable to attend the open house and would like additional information please contact Dakota Carruthers, Parker Poe Entitlements Manager, at,” the flier states.

Parker Poe is an Atlanta law firm.

I emailed Carruthers on March 8, referencing 2521 Mars Hill Road property, and saying “Someone has forwarded to me a flier from Dr. Brent Nail regarding a rezone of this property. Would you be so kind as to send me additional information on this plan and to inform me of its status?”

I have not yet heard back from Carruthers.

Residents of the Bond Crossing and Oakridge subdivisions were among those who spoke out strongly against the Deferred Tax rezone, arguing that the commercial development would adversely affect their neighborhoods.

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