A pair of proposed large residential projects in unincorporated Bethlehem that would add over 1,000 residential units and more than 500 single-family homes in Barrow County are set to go through a state review process before they come before county leaders for rezoning requests.

One of the projects, referred to as “Accent Springs,” would include 288 apartment units and 150 townhomes at the intersection of Carl-Bethlehem Road and Highway 81, near the Barrow Crossing shopping center. The other project would add 506 single-family homes and an additional 123 townhomes off Tom Miller Road.

The Accent Springs project would add more than 400 living units to an already-bustling commercial area near the new Highway 81/316 overpass interchange that was completed by the Georgia Department of Transportation last fall.

Westplan Investors of Lawrenceville is the developer, and Lawrenceville attorney Shane Lanham is the listed representative on the Developments of Regional Impact form that was submitted to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Lanham has represented numerous other developers who have brought rezoning requests before local governments in Barrow over the last several years. He represented a separate developer who won approval from the Winder City Council last summer to rezone 67 acres to the east of Barrow Crossing and build up to 300 apartment units and 99 townhomes.

If a rezoning is approved, Accent Springs is currently projected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

The unnamed project at 979 Tom Miller Rd. would be developed by Ashton Atlanta Residential of Alpharetta and would add more than 600 additional living units on one of the larger remaining open spaces near the Apalachee High-Haymon-Morris Middle-Yargo Elementary school complex.

According to the DRI form submitted Feb. 16, the projected completion date has not been determined.

The proposed projects must undergo a DRI study because they exceed unit thresholds outlined by the DCA. Local governments are required to submit any development projects that meet or exceed those thresholds to their regional development center (RDC) for review.

The review typically takes no more than 30 calendar days to complete. Once there is a finding for a project, it goes before the county planning commission, which in these cases would consider rezoning requests. The planning commission will then make a recommendation to the board of commissioners for a final vote.

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