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City wrangles development applications in planning, council meetings
LCG development
Plans submitted by LCG show what a 137-acre, 236 home development behind JC Burt Road could look like.

With more than 500 housing units in the planning stages, the Dawsonville City Council is currently sorting through a number of requests for annexation, rezoning and amendments to stipulations from developers. Much of the council’s last work session was devoted to discussion of the upcoming developments.

LCG development

What: 236 single family homes

Where: Hwy. 9 South at JC Burt Road

Request: LCG has requested a zoning amendment upon annexation into the city. The applicant wants a 9.9-acre parcel rezoned from the county’s zoning of residential sub rural to the city’s zoning of R-3, single family residential.

The parcel is to be combined with two adjacent zoned properties owned by LCG for a total of 137.5 acres.

The planning department has recommended the rezoning with several stipulations, including a traffic study, minimum square footage at 1,600 square feet, water and sewer infrastructure, amenities including a playground, basketball court, tennis court, community clubhouse, walking trails and a community pool, lighting and five foot sidewalks.

Planning Commission: The application went before the city planning commission on Aug. 14, and at that time, LCG spokesman Matthew Bennett said he couldn’t agree to all of the stipulations at that time based on how the development was designed.

Planning Commission member Steve Sanvi said that the council would likely not vote to approve the application without the amenities package, but the commission voted unanimously anyway to recommend approval of the application with the stipulations recommended by the planning department.

Council: Planning Director Casey Majewski told the city council Aug. 30 that LCG has since requested that the city not require the tennis and basketball courts. Council member Angie Smith said she would be fine without the tennis and basketball courts if the other amenities were included, and the other council members agreed.

The application could come before the council again at its Sept. 11 meeting.

Richardson tract

What: 30 starter homes

Where: 11 Marie Drive, off Hwy. 53

Request: Richardson Tract LLC has requested to modify zoning of two properties totaling 10 acres located next to Amicalola Propane. The current zoning is commercial highway business and restricted industrial commercial, and the applicant wishes for the parcels to be zoned R-3, or single family medium density.

Planning Commission: The application went before the city planning commission Aug. 14 at which point it was tabled because the developer, Tim House, said he did not want to put in an amenities package.

Council: Majewski said at the council work session Aug. 30 that the planning staff had met with the applicant and that they would be willing to put in an amenities package at a sister development on a property they would be looking to annex into the city within half a mile of the proposed community.

Council member Caleb Phillips said that with too much R-3 zoning, the city would be looking at sewage expansion very quickly. He also said that he didn’t want to see commercial property along Hwy. 53 rezoned for housing when so many developments had yet to build out.

City Attorney Dana Miles also mentioned that rezoning the property as requested would not comply with the future land use plan.

The application could come before the council again at its Sept. 11 meeting.


Heatherwood development

What: 54 townhome-style units

Where: 280 Maple Street S.

Request: Developer Len Reeves has requested to amend current stipulations on two plots of land totaling 9 acres, removing language that would keep him from marketing the proposed development to occupants of all ages, instead of just active adults as outlined by current stipulations.

Planning Commission: Reeves came before the planning commission April 10 with his request for stipulation amendments. The commission recommended approval of the application.

Council: The city council discussed the application April 17 and decided to have the developer

conduct a new traffic study, as the latest one had been conducted in 2007.

A new traffic study was completed and presented to the city council before its July 10 meeting. The council then tabled the request to Sept. 11 due to controversy over amenities, particularly the pool that the planning staff requested.

Majewski said Aug. 30 that the planning department had since met with Reeves, who said that the federal application that would provide funding for the project has yet to be approved, and that it might not allocate enough funds to cover the cost of a pool.

Mayor James Grogan said that Farmington Woods, which is located on Perimeter Road, was in a similar situation and had to reapply for funding. It got the money, and was built in city limits with a similar pool and amenities package to the one Majewski has recommended for the Heatherwood development. He said he doesn’t see why Reeves could not come before the council again in a year when he has enough funding.