At the Sept. 13 meeting of the Dawsonville Planning Commission, commission members voted to deny the amended annexation and rezoning request submitted by Allen Street Properties LLC and the B & K Turner Family LLP.
Under the amended request, the development would have one entrance in and out, as well as one emergency entrance for fire and EMS personnel only. According to Planning and Zoning Director David Picklesimer, the inclusion of only one public entrance is a problem because it goes against the city’s ordinance.
“[The ordinance] does require two full accesses if you’ve got over 50 lots,” Picklesimer said. “[The fire access road] would not meet that intent for the ordinance unless the commission or the council approves it with that variance.”
Christopher Light, the attorney from Lipscomb and Johnson LLP in Cumming who is representing the applicant, addressed the concerns about the access road, saying that the applicant would be willing to try to work with the city to meet the ordinance.
Commission members also voiced concerns about potential traffic dangers with foot traffic coming in and out of the proposed development and in and out of the high school next to it.
“The ordinance does require that sidewalks be built along the entire property line where there is a road cut,” City Attorney Kevin Tallant said. 'So where you have an entrance, you have to run your sidewalk along that entire property line.’
Because of the concerns about the sole access point and the sidewalks, planning commission member Matt Fallstrom motioned that the planning commission deny the annexation and rezoning request.
“I will motion to deny just because we’re not meeting the current ordinance,” Fallstrom said. “I feel that they should have the second drive and I don’t see how it happens without annexing a piece of this to line it up with Allen Street.”
The planning commission voted unanimously, with commission member Anna Tobolski abstaining, to deny the request.
When the application was originally submitted, planning commission members voiced concerns about the annexation creating an unincorporated island of county land within the city limits and denied the request. In response, the applicant amended the request from 74.85 acres down to 70.808 acres to be annexed and rezoned for a 124-lot development, eliminating the creation of the island.
The application, originally submitted to the city in August of 2020, asked for just under 75 acres of land to be annexed into the city limits and rezoned to allow for the development of a residential subdivision.
Both the Dawsonville Planning Commission and the Dawsonville City Council held several public hearings regarding the request and community members attended to voice concerns. The city council was due to make a decision on the request in July, but discovered that the request had been advertised incorrectly to the public. Because of this, the request was re-advertised and returned to the planning commission for its September meeting.
At this week’s meeting, Light explained to the planning commission board members that the applicant is again amending his request, this time taking the acreage drastically down from 70.808 to 32.
“As I’ve gone through this process, it wasn’t that well received and it looked a little silly having a 50-foot strip through the neighborhood,” Light said. “We had a survey done when we created the strip which clearly showed two different tracts, so this happened to work out because now we’ve got a survey and site plan of the tract 2 which we’re now presenting you with a revised LOI and site plan to just hopefully annex and rezone the tract 2, which is next to the high school.”
According to Light, the new request would allow the 32 acres in the tract to re annexed and rezoned for the development of about 65 lots, which would be 1.97 units per acre.
Multiple city residents stood up during the public hearing, voicing concerns about the traffic that the development would add to the area, but said with less than half of the original proposed acreage on the amended request, they did not have as many concerns for their personal property.
The annexation and rezoning request is currently scheduled to go to a public hearing at the Dawsonville City Council’s meeting on Oct. 4.