After taking action on a pair of zoning cases during its most recent meeting, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners weighed in on a pair of annexation cases involving the city of Woodstock.
The first case involved two parcels totaling 1.75 acres at the corner of Georgia Highway 92 and Neese Road, a site Principal Planner Margaret Stallings said was being turned into a Culver’s restaurant. Stallings pointed out that the land was an unincorporated island of the county surrounded by Woodstock, meaning the annexation would help close a hole.
“They’re not proposing a change in the zoning, because we rezoned the property in 2015 to general commercial already,” Stallings said. “We’re pretty consistent on the future development map.”
As there is both an intersection improvement project the Georgia Department of Transportation has planned for the location and an assisted living facility the city would like to develop on adjacent property, Stallings added that this would make coordination among all the involved parties easier. After the county analyzed the case, the only key concern any department had was that the fire department wanted to ensure the development would meet the minimum fire code standards.
During the commissioners’ discussion on the case, Commissioner Ray Gunnin said he felt there could be somewhat of a traffic problem at the site when the restaurant is developed, given the proposed Neese Road entrance being in relatively close proximity to one of the entrances to First Baptist Church of Woodstock. However, when looking at the law allowing the county to raise any objections and invoke dispute resolution, he felt there was no real ground the county could stand on in this regard.
“Maybe they will line up the entrances and exits with First Baptist Woodstock to where that’ll work,” Gunnin said. “If they don’t, it’s going to be kind of a traffic jam, people trying to get out of First Baptist, and then people coming out at a different spot out of that Culver’s, it’s going to be rather hard to get out.”
Taking what Gunnin recommended, the commissioners approved a motion to send a letter to the city, informing Woodstock the county did not oppose the annexation, but encouraged them to follow the fire codes and pay special attention to the alignments of the Neese Road entrances and exits to make the area safer for motorists.
The county also saw no issue with an annexation case surrounding two parcels totaling 3.5 acres at the intersection of Interstate 575 and Towne Lake Parkway. Sitting on the northwest side of the intersection next to an office facility of Northside Hospital, Stallings said the only plans for the property is a sign on the portion closer to the road so those heading to the office building will be able to see signs for the facility that much sooner and easier, while there are no plans to have the land rezoned.
“Are there really any reasons for us to be concerned about this?,” Commission Chairman Harry Johnston asked. Stallings said "No."
Commissioner Corey Ragsdale said the only concern he had was that the property could be impacted by future plans to improve the intersection of I-575 and Towne Lake Parkway, but as long as the sign did not fall within the boundary of the future right-of-way acquisition, he saw no reason for opposing the annexation. He then put forth a motion to communicate this to the city, which was approved unanimously.