Talking to the BOC

Abe Abouhamdan of ABE Consulting talks with Madison County commissioners Monday.

A major subdivision approved for Old Kincaid Road in 2004 never happened. But now, a different developer plans to cut the original number of lots nearly in half and construct an upscale subdivision on the property. He got the go ahead from county commissioners Monday, but it came with required changes to some lot sizes.

A request by Abe Abouhamdan of ABE Consulting to rezone 214.8 acres on Old Kincaid Road from A-1 to R-1/A-2 for a major subdivision was approved 4-0 by the county commissioners Monday. But after considerable discussion, the board agreed to require that all lots adjacent to Old Kincaid Road, which totaled 15 on Abouhamdan’s site plan, must have a three-acre minimum. Commissioner Terry Chandler made the motion for the minimum lot requirement, voicing concerns about the small lot sizes and traffic safety.

Though Abouhamdan now has approval for the project, which includes 61 lots, down from 111 homes previously proposed for the property in 2004, he’ll have to redraw his plans to account for the larger lots required next to Old Kincaid Road. The developer won't have to have roads constructed for the subdivision, since roads were created in the planned subdivision years ago, but no homes were developed.

The developer told commissioners that he plans to have three large “estate” tracts in the development that will be on the A-2 property and allow for some farming on those tracts. But he may have to reduce the size of those A-2 tracts — he can’t go below five acres in an A-2 zone — to account for the loss of proposed lots off Old Kincaid Road. He said he needs to add lots elsewhere in the development to make it economically viable. Abouhamdan will still have to bring back preliminary and final plats to the BOC for approval.

Commissioner Dennis Adams voiced concern about two cul de sacs in the proposal, noting that cul de sacs create entry/exit problems in emergency situations, but Abouhamdan noted that only a couple of lots will be on the cul de sacs. The group did not vote to restrict that aspect of the development.

Residents who live near the proposed subdivision voiced concerns about adding traffic on Old Kincaid Road and Colbert Danielsville Road, where some serious accidents have occurred. Charles and Dianne Perry noted that their property adjoined a tract that had previously been designated as green space when a subdivision was proposed 17 years ago, but the new plan put three lots on that tract at a higher elevation than their property. They worried about water runoff and septic issues from those proposed homes.

The three-acre restriction introduced by Chandler meant that Abouhamdan could only put one home on the property adjoining the Perry’s property, not three.

Residents of the area also said they don’t have good internet services in the area, with one speaker noting that the development can’t be very upscale if they don’t have decent internet.

Abouhamdan said the homes will range from $360,000 to over $1 million.

“I feel that’s a great addition to the county,” he said.

NOISE ORDINANCE

In another matter, Madison County Clean Power Coalition co-chair Drago Tesanovich asked county commissioners to do something to combat noise problems at Georgia Renewable Power. He said a resident who lives by the facility called him recently to visit his property when the noise was bad and Tesanovich said a conversation couldn’t be held in the yard as the noise reached 70 decibels. He said people in the area are desperate to see something done.

Higdon and commissioner Chandler told Tesanovich that commissioner Derek Doster held a recent Zoom meeting on the issue and that the board continues to look at its noise ordinance. Higdon said he expects there to be some action in coming weeks.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DISCUSSION

County attorney Mike Pruett asked board members several questions, seeking guidance on drafting a “request for proposal” for those who might bid on overseeing the county comprehensive land use plan update, which is due next year.

Board members agreed that they would like to see city plans included in that update.

“It would be best for everybody to be on the same page,” said Higdon.

Tesanovich asked that the board include the public in the process. And board members emphasized that public input is the primary focus of the update. Higdon said he expects there to be about 10 meetings on the update.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other matters, county commissioners approved zoning amendments to require all campers and RVs to have a tag and title and to outlaw campers and RVs as permanent residences.

Chairman Higdon noted that 48 tons of tires had been collected at the road department between May and June. A tire amnesty event will be held at the transfer station between Oct. 2 and Nov. 6. A recycling and document-shredding event will be held at the county government complex Nov. 13.

Higdon said the tax commissioner’s office has sent out tax bills 38 days early. He said the deadline is the same, but the earlier date gives people more time to handle the payment.

The chairman said the county government has job vacancies at the jail, EMS and building maintenance department. He noted that the county has had trouble filling those spots and the BOC agreed to lower the required age of 21 to drive a county vehicle to 19.

He announced that a TJ and Friends car show will be held to raise money for local cancer victims at Madison County Memorial Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 2.

The board approved a request by Ruben Borza to subdivide and rezone from A-1 to R-R a tract from his 91.65-acre parcel on Old McGee Fitzpatrick Road, which includes four acres with two homes and 3.5 acres of land.

The group approved a request by Bobby Duncan to rezone 3.745 acres and a home from A-1 to R-R on Rousey Duncan Road.

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