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Commission puts apartment zoning on hold
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Dawson County commissioners have chosen to delay until next month a decision on a rezoning request for a large apartment complex near Ga. 400.

Holt Persinger filed an application on behalf of Ridgeline Land Planning to reclassify about 40.4 acres zoned residential agriculture and commercial highway business to residential multi-family.

The company proposes building a 242-unit garden-style apartment community with amenities such as a swimming pool and tennis courts.

The property on Lumpkin Campground Road, north of Hwy. 53, consists of three parcels and one home, which was built in 1971.

The complex would include one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 800 to 1,400 square feet, though Persinger would not divulge the anticipated price range.

He also couldn't provide the commission with specific details on the developers and their experience with such projects.

Commission Chairman Mike Berg said he was uncomfortable moving forward without that information.

"It would be helpful to, one, speak to the person developing it and let him tell us what his plan is, so we have a little bit better understanding of what these are going to look like," he said. "Because what you're saying to us right now is that this developer is going to find someone to build these apartments.

"It helps us to understand what the rentals are, because it tells us the type of unit that's going to go in. We're not asking for exacts, but averages to tell us how it matches up."

Berg also expressed a desire to see a traffic study.

"I'll tell you, I'm uneasy with this, and here's why," he said. "Without a traffic study, it's hard for us to stipulate what to do as far as Prominence Court is concerned.

"I feel like there would be more traffic on Prominence Court than there might be on Old Lumpkin Campground, because it's easier to get to 400 from Prominence Court."

While the proposed project does not align with the county's future land-use plan, Planning Director David McKee said "the application is a less intensive use, which would be allowable."

Planning staff and the county's planning board have recommended approval of the rezoning with the stipulation that the developer install a second entrance for emergency access on Prominence.

According to a letter from Adam Hazell, planning director with the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission, the project is "in the best interest of the state" based on the Department of Community Affair's procedures related to the review of Developments of Regional Impact.

The department's summary of regional impacts dealt with traffic flow, future development and the recommendation of multiple points of access for larger developments.

The commission's Dec. 19 meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center.