Braselton leaders recently rejected a request for a massive planned unit development near downtown.
The Braselton Town Council voted Feb. 8 to reject approval of a request to rezone 40 acres off Jesse Cronic Rd. Becky Richardson and Hardy Johnson voted to approve the development with a number of conditions added Feb. 8, but the three other council members voted against that motion.
Braselton 38, LLC, had requested a rezoning from manufacturing-distribution to PUD. Developers planned a number of uses on the property, including a 315-unit multi-family development; 115-unit senior living facility; 10,000 sq. ft. of office space; 10,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space; 10,000-20,000 sq. ft. of medical office facility; and 26,400 sq. ft. of business service space.
Attorney Doug Dillard, who spoke for the developers at the Feb. 4 public hearing, said the proposal had been modified multiple times. The residential density was reduced and some of the buildings were reoriented along Jesse Cronic Rd.
The project received mixed reviews from the public at the Feb. 4 hearing.
Some neighboring property owners supported the project, including Shane Slocum with Delta Municipal Supply. Slocum said he’d rather see this development than another truck storage facility like one located nearby.
But one area resident, James Bunt, spoke against the proposal, citing traffic concerns on Jesse Cronic Rd.
“I don’t feel like the traffic on Jesse Cronic will allow all of the traffic that will be coming into the area,” he said.
Dillard argued the traffic impact would likely be lower with this project than if the property were developed as industrial.
In a similar vote, council members also rejected a request for a pick-up window for a planned Chipotle restaurant off Hwy. 211.
Peggy Slappey and Richardson voted to approve the request, but the remaining three council members voted against that motion.
211 Braselton Venture, LLC, requested a conditional use to allow the drive-up, pick-up window on the 1.74 property, located at 2715 Old Winder Hwy. An 8,000 sq. ft. multi-tenant building is planned, with the Chipotle utilizing about 2,400 sq. ft. of that space.
The property is located within the Hwy. 211 Overlay District, which would require a conditional use for a pick-up window for certain uses, including restaurants.
Braselton residents and some council members have also been uniquely sensitive over added drive-thrus over the past few years.
In a lengthy hearing on Feb. 4, David Shanahan, who spoke for the application, outlined the difference between a “drive-thru window” and a “pick-up window.”
Customers wouldn’t drive-thru the line to order food, rather they’d order online or through an app and have a designated time to pick-up their food. He also noted traffic to Chipotle would be lower than at a traditional fast-food restaurant, specifically citing Chick-fil-A.
But many local residents voiced concerns with traffic at the facility and the impact it would have on nearby developments.
“We’ve let too many drive-thrus in already,” said Waylon Howell. “…I believe it’s important that we understand the impact that we already have in this area. During the (planning) commission meeting, they talked about the fact that (Hwy.) 211 is going to be widened. Well, it’s not widened yet.”
Howell stressed the need to “get the infrastructure in place” before approving similar developments.