The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners took action on five zoning cases at its most recent meeting, allowing various development projects to take the next step forward.

The first case of the evening dealt with just under 32 acres on Lower Bethany Road, with a request to rezone it from a mixture of general commercial and residential requiring lots of 80,000 square feet to zero lot line residential. In addition, there were three variances being asked for and one condition being offered. These included asking for zoning buffers between a pair of interior parcels to be waived, reducing the minimum building setback along both Lower Bethany Road and Ball Ground Highway and allowing the housing units to have a minimum 5-foot side building setback, while the developers were also offering $100,000 to help improve the intersection of Lower Bethany Road and Ball Ground Highway. The Cherokee County Planning Commission had recommended approving the rezoning with the variances and condition attached. The board of commissioners agreed with this recommendation, voting to approve the request.

The second case involved 3.27 acres along Georgia Highway 92 being rezoned from residential requiring lots of 20,000 square feet to general commercial for the development of an RV and boat storage facility. As the property in question is in both the Southwest Cherokee Area Plan and the Highway 92 Village Overlay plan, Commissioner Corey Ragsdale made a motion to approve rezoning the land to general commercial, but that it would be restricted in use to what is allowed by the Highway 92 Village Overlay plan. This motion was then approved in a unanimous vote.

Similar in scope, the third and fourth cases both involved land owned by Christopher Comer along Georgia Highway 92. His first request surrounded 4.96 acres being rezoned from agricultural to general commercial, while his second dealt with 4.56 acres to be rezoned from residential requiring lots of 40,000 square feet to general commercial. Prior to the meeting, Comer had asked for his first case to be postponed for two weeks, which the commissioners unanimously granted. At the same time, the board approved allowing for a rezoning in the second case, but attached a condition that would limit the land’s uses to be more like that of a parcel zoned for neighborhood commercial.

The final zoning case came from Windsong Properties, asking for 13 acres on Trickum Road to be rezoned from neighborhood commercial to zero lot line residential for the development of an age-restricted community. The planning commission had recommended approval of the rezoning, while the developers had worked to beef up the buffers between the development and the surrounding neighborhoods after hearing comments from neighbors during the June meeting of the planning commission. Looking at the case, the board approved the rezoning.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to create issues, a brief discussion was held about where the next board meeting should take place. Commission Chair Harry Johnston felt it would be best to have it in the conference room of the administration building, as it has been for the past couple of meetings, which none of the other commissioners disagreed with.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners also handled the following:

  • The consent agenda, which included the acceptance of an EMS reimbursement grant check for nearly $19,000, the acceptance of a conservation easement for part of the Owens Mill subdivision, surplusing and recycling obsolete equipment from the Cherokee County Animal Shelter, the final acceptance of the rights-of-way, roadways and drainage structures for the Sanctuary subdivision, accepting county maintenance for a street in the Sherwood Forest subdivision, the transfer of county-owned property for needed right-of-way on the Bells Ferry Road improvement project, a request from the Georgia Department of Transportation to support the creation of roundabout concepts for Georgia Highway 20 west of Canton, scheduling a public hearing on Aug. 4 to transit the annual impact fee and short term work plan update to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, scheduling a public hearing on August 4 for the adoption of the 2020 zoning map and a memorandum of understanding between the county and Suntex Marinas to allow the county to park its fire rescue boat at Little River Marina, was approved.
  • The board approved a service agreement with Tunnell, Spangler & Associates for the development of a Southwest Cherokee Parks and Trails plan. Tunnell, Spangler & Associates was the highest scoring bid for the project and had a cost of $48,545.
  • A similar agreement was approved with Wilburn Engineering in the amount of $33,950 for a corridor study around Bells Ferry Road.
  • A third service agreement was awarded to EXP US Services for $65,709 to update the list of roads to be included on the county’s radar permit.
  • The commissioners approved adopting the 2020-2024 Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency’s strategic plan, “Bringing Our Vision to Life,” that was approved by the CRPA Advisory Board at its most recent meeting.
  • As the project for a replacement bridge to be built on Lower Dowda Mill Road over Sharp Mountain Creek, the board approved a construction agreement with McCarthy Improvement Company in the amount of $984,480.75, as well as an amendment to an agreement with Heath & Lineback Engineers in the amount of $31,279.05 to provide construction inspection services.
  • A construction agreement totaling $123,519.44 was also approved with Granite Inliner, LLC, for a pipe repair project on Arborhill Drive at Primrose Lane.
  • A municipal services agreement was approved with the City of Ball Ground for the Cherokee Marshal’s Office to provide code enforcement services within the city limits.
  • The board approved purchasing a CAT D5K2 Dozer for the public works department from Yancey Brothers Co. in the amount of $132,899.
  • The commissioners approved an agreement with SERV International for the purchase and delivery of non-prepared food boxes to senior citizens throughout the county. The amount of the agreement totaled $44,715.74, which the county will be reimbursed for under the federal Family First Act as part of the national COVID-19 response.
  • A proposal for a methane extraction system and the installation of another methane remediation blower at the Blalock Road Landfill submitted by Rindt-McDuff Associates in the amount of $30,800 was approved.
  • A proposal from Calco Engineering was approved in the amount of $69,440. This proposal covers a roadway design for the Canton Street Connection Project.

The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will be Tuesday, July 21.

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