Braselton leaders approved a town-initiated rezoning and annexation this week in an attempt to remedy an alleged procedural error during a previous round of hearings.
The Braselton Town Council held a second round of public hearings at its work session Thursday, Sept. 10, for a planned unit development on 141 acres off Duncan Creek Rd. Meritage Homes of Georgia plans to construct 318 detached single-family homes on that property.
The request was approved earlier this year, but three residents have since filed a lawsuit against the town, citing both procedural and substantive errors in the town’s decision. According to town attorney Gregory Jay, the residents found the legal ads and public hearing signs didn’t comply with the law. The second round of hearings on Thursday was an attempt to remedy that alleged procedural error, Jay added.
But Brian Daughdrill, the attorney representing the homeowners, argued the town still wasn’t complying with its own rules since it only held one hearing during this second round of hearings while its rules require two hearings.
“You’re going to have a new procedural issue all over again,” he said. “…If you’re going to do it this way, I would at least urge you: Go through the process and follow the process the right way.”
There was some discussion about whether two hearings were required when the application was initiated by the town instead of a private applicant.
The council ultimately voted to approve the request at its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 14.
The hearings were an attempt to mitigate the procedural claims in the lawsuit, but the substantive claims against the initial vote remain. Daughdrill specifically cited issues with buffer requirements and with the lack of a transition in housing density.
Also at its Sept. 14 meeting, the council approved an annexation and rezoning request from JTG Holdings, LLC, for 85 acres on Davis St. at the intersection with Henry Braselton Dr.
The request was initially for 201 detached single-family lots, but a condition limits those lots to 199.
Mike Smith, who spoke for the application, said they intend to develop a conservation subdivision, but hadn’t made a decision yet.
Developers also plan walking trails, a dog park and possibly a pool, but a complete list of planned amenities hadn’t been decided on yet.
TOWNHOUSES VOTE DEFERRED
Meanwhile, a vote on a request to put townhouses in an industrial section of town was deferred.
Johnnie Hastings is requesting the rezoning for 21 acres on Broadway Ave. to allow 161 for-rent townhouses.
Also at its meeting Sept. 14, the council approved:
•its Capital Improvement Elementary and Short Term Work Program. The documents will go to the state for review before coming back to the town for final approval.
•a bid to low bidder J&K Utilities for $215,000 for sanitary sewer erosion repairs and Riverstone Park stormwater improvements.
•a special event permit for Cheri Huff at Elementary for a fashion show on Oct. 8. It will be held on the patio of the Braselton Brothers Department Store.