County denies drive-in theater rezoning
Meanwhile, an application for a campground resort is approved.
Matters of zoning took up the majority of the agenda at this week’s Gordon County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Four related rezoning requests from InLight Real Estate Acquisitions LLC to rezone a total of nearly 150 acres in the area of Garner Springs Road and Dodd Avenue near Union Grove Road from A-1 agricultural to I-1 light industrial saw public hearings Tuesday night.
“It’s a major speculative warehousing project,” County Administrator Jim Ledbetter said. “One of the questions will be the availability of water and sewer and the acquisition of necessary easements.”
A public hearing on the matter drew several speakers, most showing concerns about increased traffic and noise in the area, as well as questions about a lack of buffer.
Developers stated Garner Springs Road wouldn’t be used as access for the facility, a point that brought the concern of nearby residents in previous versions of the site plan.
The properties came to the board from the planning commission with a recommendation for approval, and commissioners collectively approved the rezoning requests by a 3-1 vote, with the Chad Steward voting no, and Becky Hood absent.
“I wish that you guys had come back with a different plan to show us you’re trying to make a little bit more of a buffer,” Steward said.
A proposed drive-in movie theater on 34 acres at 1420 Liberty Church Road in Ranger came with a recommendation for denial from the planning commission. The land is currently owned by Marsha Parker.
“I want to start something I could leave for my family, and something for others to enjoy,” applicant Jerry Gravitte said.
Several area residents showed up to speak out against the proposed project, each expressing concerns over the possibility of increased traffic flow in an agricultural and residential area.
“The current land development map has this property as rural agricultural reserve,” Ledbetter said.
Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the request.
Another planned project was approved unanimously by the board, as commissioners gave the go-ahead for Marty Carroll to rezone eight acres at 1420 and 1424 Highway 41 from CG general to C-H highway commercial for what he called a campground resort with amenities.
Also approved by the commission was a request by David Biggs to rezone four acres at 4898C Fairmount Highway from R-1 residential to RA-1 residential agricultural density to put a mobile home on his property.
A request by OWR LLC to rezone 94 acres on Trimble Hollow Road at Spring Hill Road from A-1 agricultural to I-2 heavy industrial was tabled again at the request of the applicant.
Finally, an application by Bertie Wilson to rezone 8.33 acres at 153 Baker Road from A-1 agricultural to RA-1 residential agricultural district was approved to enable the building of a single-family residence on the property.
In other business, the commission approved its 2022 meeting schedule, as well as the signing of an on-demand engineering services contract with EXP in Rome.
A resolution supporting future reform to Georgia’s Annexation Dispute Resolution law was approved — a measure that could eventually give counties more say in annexation cases.
Approval of malt beverage, wine, liquor license renewals as well as new applications passed 3-1, with a no vote from Commissioner Kevin Cunningham.
All alcohol applications were considered except Rainbow Corner, 4594 Dews Pond Road, since the store previously had its license revoked, putting the current applicant in a five-year application ban period. Someone else could potentially apply for the store, however, as long as they weren’t involved in previous violations.
Approved licenses included Ralston’s Corner, Calhoun Elks Lodge, Neel’s Market, ABC Convenience Store, New Echota Package Store, Fairmount
American Legion, Loyal Order of Moose, Mulligans, Mapco
Mart, Gordon County Veterans Inc., Martins Corner,
Highway Express, Circle K, Allen’s Market, Town and Country Store, Redbud BP, ABC Convenience Store No. 6, Citgo Food Mart, Redbud Food & Tobacco, Owens Grocery, Crazy Acres Bar & Grill, Redbud Grocery & Tobacco, and BP Calhoun.
The next meeting of the Gordon County Board of Commissioners is set for Tuesday, Jan. 4. All meetings are open to the public.