BY KRISTI REED
The Barrow County Planning Commission failed to reach a consensus on a request to allow an apartment complex to be developed near the intersection of Chancey Circle and Haymon Morris Road.
After a 3-3 tie vote, the request to rezone the 46.77 acres from agricultural to R3 for a master planned development will go to the Barrow County Board of Commissioners without a recommendation.
The proposed development would be located within one mile of Haymon-Morris Middle School, Yargo Elementary and Apalachee High School. The community would have up to 250 apartment units with 20 percent of the development devoted to commercial use and 20 percent designated as open space.
Attorney John Stell, speaking on behalf of the applicant and property owner, said the proposed site is denoted as an “emerging suburban area” in the Barrow County future land use map. According to Stell, the owner is willing to meet all the conditions recommended by the planning board which include compliance with the requirements of the highway overlay district and completion of a traffic study.
Several planning commission members expressed concern that the development would generate foot traffic along busy Haymon-Morris Road as children from the apartment complex walk to school. Though the developer will install sidewalks along the roadway fronting the development, no sidewalks exist from the development to the schools. The lack of sidewalks would affect only those students who choose to walk to school.
Though Georgia law does not require school systems to provide transportation to students within one mile of a school, it is the policy of the Barrow County School system to provide transportation to all students.
According to Barrow County Schools assistant routing director Alicia Lord, the school system currently services several subdivisions within a mile of the school complex including the 300-400 home Kendall Park subdivision and a newer subdivision directly across the road from the campus.
Dist. 2 Representative Wayne Alexander, Dist. 4 Representative Nancy Easterling and Dist. 5 Representative Howard Hawthorne voted to deny the request. At-large Representative Chet Holliday, Dist. 3 Representative Robert Lanham and Dist. 6 Representative Scott Hang voted in favor of the development. Planning commission chair Joe Goodman was absent.
In other business, the planning commission:
• recommended approval for a request to rezone 5.65 acres at the intersection of Loganville Highway and Highway 81 from AR to C-2 for commercial development.
• recommended approval for a special use permit to allow a plastic products manufacturing facility at 1555 University Drive in Auburn.
The requests will go before the Barrow County Board of Commissioners on August 26 at 7 p.m. The board meets at the Barrow County Administration Building located at 233 East Broad Street in Winder.