Barrow Commission tables controversial rezoning

WINDER - A controversial mixed-use development proposed for Ga. Highway 53 at Sims Road will be considered next month.

Barrow County Commissioners decided to table the request to build 419 homes and cottages on 178 acres, with space for commercial areas as well.

Attorney John Stell, after hearing resident complaints, offered some concessions that commissioners and Planning Director Guy Herring said they had not had time to review.

Deborah Lee, representing the area homeowners opposed to the plan, said she was concerned that the close proximity of the homes could present a fire hazard. The development's location, she also said, was not an appropriate place for a commercial area.

"It's not the place for a shopping center," she said. "Quality businesses are going to want to be at busier sites."

District 1 Commissioner Jerry Lampp, recommending that it be tabled, said that the development was the nicest that had ever been proposed in his district.

Commissioners did pass a number of other rezoning requests, including a request to build duplexes on about 23 acres on Brown Bridge Road, requests to zone two Atlanta Highway parcels as commercial, a request to have consistent zoning on five acres on Ga. Highway 211 and one to approve a 99-lot subdivision on Tanners Bridge Road.

A request that had been tabled previously - to build residences on 120 acres on Tanners Bridge Road - prompted a discussion about the definition of masonry and whether commissioners had to be consistent in requiring what building materials were made of.

They eventually decided to change a requirement on the subdivision that would mean the homes' exteriors could be made only of brick, stone or stucco to include masonry exteriors, a stipulation that has been put on a number of recent rezones.

District 4 Commissioner Isaiah Berry and District 3 Commissioner Roger Wehunt - who first made the motion without masonry - voted against including it in that particular rezone. Other commissioners stressed the need for consistency in granting requests.

Residents complained about a rezoning request that would make an acre on Tanners Bridge Road part of their subdivision, worried that the owner would put a manufactured home on the lot. Commissioners voted to make the lot technically part of the subdivision so it would have to comply with the local covenants.

Commissioners also approved a development on Haymon Morris Road that would bring a day care center, assisted living facility and office buildings to the area.