Barrow rezones property at center of lawsuit

WINDER - A 26-acre parcel that is the object of litigation with the town of Braselton was rezoned to commercial by Barrow County Commissioners. If Braselton loses its lawsuit, developers are ready to build a commercial center at Ga. Highway 211 and Beaver Dam Road in unincorporated Barrow County.

The proposed development, tentatively named Century Center at Braselton, would house two 87,500-square-foot office buildings and a business park. Hamilton State Bank currently stands on the property.

Braselton annexed the 26 acres in 2004. A surveyor mapping nearby acreage discovered that the 26-acre tract's boundaries did not touch Braselton's borders, according to Chris Gray, developer. Between the acreage and the town stands a 24-foot gap covered in grass, Gray said. State law says that annexed property must be contiguous, or touch, the city into which it would be annexed.

In other business in Tuesday's County Commission meeting, commissioners voted to:

•Approve rezoning that allows a 250-foot cell phone tower to rise on 6.9 acres near Bethabra Baptist Church at 1054 Old Thompson Mill Road.

•Rezone 20.2 acres in the 1800 block of Ga. 211 near Hoschton to commercial from residential to permit development of a 170,000 square foot retail center with 685 parking spaces on the county's sewer system.

•Rezone a 5.9-acre tract at Argonne Road and Smith Cemetery Road to light industrial from agricultural. Plans show a proposed 15,400-square-foot building, two 7,200-square-foot buildings and an 8,400-square-foot building.

•Rezone about 21 acres on Tom Miller Road to residential from agricultural for a 43-home subdivision with 3.2 acres set aside for walking trails and a nature area. The site was once a poultry farm.