The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners shared their opinions on four annexation-related applications coming to local cities at their most recent board meeting.

The first application the board heard last Tuesday is for a potential Woodstock annexation of 31.4 acres of land on South Cherokee Lane near Georgia Highway 92. Much of the property to be annexed is slated to be part of a proposed neighborhood development. while the county believed the application not to be in line with its future development map.

Another issue pointed out during the review was that South Cherokee Lane is somewhat substandard for the development that is being proposed, but an additional concern, that the annexation would create an island of unincorporated county land, was avoided by having a 10-foot strip of land along the roadway excluded from the annexation. Commissioner Ray Gunnin suggested asking for a financial contribution from the city and/or developer to help improve South Cherokee Lane. The board agreed to draft a letter expressing their concerns, and also requested the developer make a contribution of $350,000 toward roadwork.

The second application came from the city of Ball Ground, which was looking to annex 4.76 acres at the end of Roy Haynes Drive. The applicant seeks to maintain the current R-40 residential zoning. During the review, staff noted the submitted application showed consistency with both the county’s and the city’s future development maps. However, the proposed annexation would result in the creation of an island of unincorporated county land, which could present future problems. The board approved a motion forwarding comments on to the city, stating the county had no objection to the land use, but recommended excluding a 10-foot strip along the southern property line to avoid creating an unincorporated island.

Following this, the board examined an annexation application from the city of Holly Springs involving 16.33 acres of land on Univeter Road east of the Pine Crest Road intersection. While reviewing the application, the board noted that it seemed to be somewhat inconsistent with the county’s future land use plan. Potential problems, they said, include the planned usage of the land for residential development being denser than surrounding developments and a sight distance issue at the proposed entrance to the development along Univeter Road. The board voted to draft a letter to Holly Springs, voicing the county’s concerns about the density, traffic safety and other issues.

The final application the board reviewed was actually a de-annexation case involving just under one acre of land on Palm Street in the city of Holly Springs. The property in question was annexed by Holly Springs in 2017 for the development of The Darby apartment complex, before being acquired by the applicant, Philip Bell. Bell is seeking de-annexation so that the parcel and his adjacent, unincorporated property will both be outside city limits. Commissioners approved a motion conveying the county’s willingness to bring the property back into the county, so long as it was combined with the rest of Bell’s land into a single piece of property and was rezoned to a moderately dense residential classification to match what he already owns.

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