The Dawsonville Planning Commission held a public hearing Monday night for a 53-home subdivision proposed on the corner of Allen Street and Perimeter Road.
The subdivision would be built over two parcels of land that the applicants wish to combine. The parcels are adjacent to the Stonewall subdivision and across Allen Street from Robinson Elementary School.
The land is currently owned by the Kenneth K. Turner Estate and applicants Michael Turner and Miles Montgomery are petitioning to annex into the city limits a total of 14.175 acres with a zoning of R3, or single family residential.
R3 is traditionally a 3 units per acre density but the applicants asked for a variance of 3.74 units per acre. The variance was approved by the planning commission Oct. 8, contingent upon the city council approving the annexation and rezoning.
The land also connects to a small parcel of city-owned land behind the Stonewall subdivision where the city is planning to build a dog park.
Dawsonville planning staff recommended approval of the plan. Planning Director Robbie Irvin said that Montgomery has experience with dog parks and has volunteered to help the city with engineering the site.
“The staff felt that it was a win-win to support the variance request and the overall rezone and annex,” Irvin said.
Irvin said the proposed number of lots is the best case scenario, maximum amount of lots that could be developed.
“There is potential that some lots will be lost,” Irvin said. “This would be the number of lots they would like to have but obviously when you get engineering involved and start looking at where we’re going to put the roads...all those variables are really not taken into account at this level.”
Three of the planning commission members expressed concern about putting more traffic into the already congested area on Perimeter Road. A traffic study is not required due to the proposed density.
“Being on Perimeter Road, and I know the city is looking down the road at putting in a bypass a round the city, I don’t know that this portion is going to be affected by that but we’re going to be dumping a lot of traffic onto this road with more homes,” said Planning Commission member Steve Sanvi.
Irvin said the site plan contains secondary access off Allen Street, which is not required but will help ease the traffic issue. He also said that Trampas Hansard, the city public works director, will be looking into the additional traffic burden.
“He is painfully aware of those issues there and yes we would certainly like to alleviate as much traffic as we can off of there but there is still the rights of the property owner to develop his land as he can,” Irvin said.
Turner said that the two entrances he has proposed should be enough to alleviate traffic concerns, and that the 53-lot Stonewall subdivision only has one entrance.
“We have in effect cut the traffic exchanges by 50 percent by having the two intersections and that gives the homeowners in there the freedom to make the decision if they want to go out Allen Street or if they want to go Perimeter,” he said. “I know there is times of day when the high school is doing their operations when that’s an issue so they’ve got that flexibility. I think traffic has been minimized as much as it possibly can in a small development like this.”
There are also no proposed amenities for the subdivision: Turner said that what the city is already offering in the form of the future Main Street Park, farmers market and dog park as well as existing shops downtown will serve that purpose.
“This is truly a development that people will walk to the grocery store, they’ll walk to city hall, they’ll walk to the library,” he said. “We have made provisions to promote that interaction.”
City Attorney Dana Miles asked the commission to add to their motion that the developer would do some improvements to what is now city property to create a joint detention facility at the developer’s expense, which would benefit both their property and the city’s property.
Along with approving the variance, the commission voted unanimously to recommend the council approve the annexation and zoning with conditions: that the developer reach an agreement with the city for a joint detention facility and improvements to be made by the developer to the city dog park area; that the city require two entrances to the subdivision with one on Allen Street and one on Perimeter Road; and that the developer provide inter-parcel pedestrian access to the city property.
The city council will hold a public hearing on the annexation and rezoning on Oct. 22 and on Nov. 5, after which the council could vote to approve the requests.