Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

September 3, 2011

Hall Road development OK'd despite objections

THOMASVILLE — Two items related to a Planned Unit Development, or PUD, planned project have been approved by the Thomas County Board of Commissioners, but not without some residents voicing their concern or disapproval.

The board, at its Aug. 23 meeting, approved, 6-1, two separate motions pertaining to acres on Hall Road near the U.S. 319 Bypass:

• to accept a master plan for By-Pass Properties LLC for The Village of Balsam Grove, a PUD,

• to approve Phase 1 of the preliminary site plan being developed by Gary Hall, Walnut Square Apartments of The Village of Balsam Grove, the PUD.

Commissioner Phillip Brown voted against both motions and told the Times-Enterprise Thursday he “always likes to see growth” but he also “takes a hard look when citizens have problems with a new development in their community.”

“The citizens presented their side and I am always concerned about what goes into communities, especially when there is concern about it from the neighbors,” he said. “With that, I could not cast a yes vote on it.”

The PUD for Bypass Properties, according to a project introduction written by the engineer and sent to the Times-Enterprise Thursday from the county inspections/planning/zoning department, is the development of approximately 54 acres on Hall Road.

“The planned project is the first PUD project in Thomas County and it is the intent of the developers that this project will be a successful implementation of the carefully planned PUD ordinance of Thomas County,” according to the introduction.

The planned development will include “an area for senior housing, assisted living, multi family and light, compatible commercial development.”

It will “closely adhere” to standards established in the county PUD design ordinance including “the establishment of green spaces, pedestrian access requirements, sensitivity to natural features and the development of recreational facilities throughout each phase,” according to the introduction.

Also, the project is located in the northeast of a “utility service area,” identified by the county and the City of Thomasville, and “will serve as a hub for the development of these services.”

A sewer lift station is to be located within Phase 1 to provide sewer service to the entire development and several surrounding properties.

Tony Huber, agent for By-Pass Properties, gave a detailed report on the PUD project’s history, including the rezoning application to RM-11, required plans, and documents during board meeting item discussion.

The RM-11 designation means the property is residential but can have no more than 11 units per acre.

Johnny Reichert, county chief building and zoning official, said the owners, engineers, architects and staff spent hours on the PUD design and documents to ensure the design meets all Thomas County regulations. He felt it to be “a great project.”

The Times-Enterprise was unable to reach a couple of the residents that spoke for follow-up comment Thursday, but a group of neighborhood residents attended the meeting and several expressed concern for their community, traffic, area schools and possible future phases.

Brentwood Drive resident Chris Maroney questioned the zoning of the acres where the development would be built and non-payment of 2010 property taxes.

He expressed concern that the development would be like Villa North, something he felt did not need to be in that neighborhood, especially so close to local schools.

Maroney felt the county should “look into this a little closer other than what has been presented.”

See Sunday's edition for more details.

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