The Cherokee County Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a request to build an indoor gun range along Reinhardt College Parkway.

B&B Outdoors, Inc., asked rezone just under one acre along Reinhardt College Parkway from residential to general commercial for the construction of an indoor shooting and training center. Sitting next door to a property the company already owns that contains a building it operates as a store, the application was not only requesting to have the land rezoned, but also asking for variances to remove the required building setback and landscape strip along the property line the two parcels shared.

The applicant expressed the belief that, once the facility was up and running, it would add a handful of jobs and thus be a positive contributor to the county’s tax base.

A question planning commissioners had involved any potential noise putting such a facility on the property could generate. Commission member Rick Whiteside asked if a noise analysis had been done, to which the applicant stated there had been.

The applicant presented planning commissioners with the data compiled through a series of tests that showed the noise level would be comparable to average vehicular traffic.

Once the public hearing was concluded, the planning commission unanimously approved a motion to recommend approval of the request, including all of the requested variances.

Following this, the planning commission held a hearing on a request from SK Commercial Realty to rezone 15.46 acres of land on Bascomb Carmel Road between Old Mackey Road and the intersection of Bascomb Carmel Road and Bells Ferry Road. The developer was asking to rezone the land from residential to light industrial for the development of an office and business park, while also seeking a concurrent variance to allow for parking in front of the planned buildings. While addressing the commission, the developer explained he felt this would serve the area well, while also showing plans for four office buildings to be located on the site. The biggest question that came up during the hearing was who Old Mackey Road belonged to, whether or not it was a county road, with everyone in agreement that this question needed to be answered moving forward, while the developer added there would be an effective plan in place no matter what the answer to this question may be. Following the hearing, the commission approved a motion to recommend approval of the rezoning.

The final new case dealt with 4.86 acres of land along Upper Sweetwater Trail, which the applicant was requesting to have rezoned from agricultural to residential in order to split the property into three smaller parcels to build a pair of houses on that would give her parents a home of their own in the future. Planning Commissioner Tom Ware asked if these residences would remain in the family, to which the applicant said they would, as there were no plans to sell them. Currently, the applicant said there is a single-wide mobile home on the property, which the commission members said was not allowed in the residential zoning category the applicant was seeking. Two people spoke during the hearing against the proposal, expressing concern more with the precedent rezoning this property could set than with the applicant and her specific proposal. The possibility of a legacy lot was mentioned during the hearing, but the applicant said she was under the belief she would not be able to do that on this site. She also responded to some of the items brought up by the planning commission and those who addressed the commission, saying the property into compliance regarding the mobile home, and there would be only one driveway to service all three residences as opposed to three separate drives all on top of each other. However, the planning commission felt this request did not necessarily fit the character area and was concerned about it being of a somewhat dissimilar use to neighboring properties before approving a motion to recommend denial of the request.

In addition to the three recommendations that followed their respective public hearings, the fourth case the planning commission took action on involved a special use permit for land on Cumming Highway to allow for truck sales on the property, a case that had its public hearing in May but has been postponed a handful of times since. As the board of commissioners made the decision to rezone the parcel in question from residential to neighborhood commercial, and motor vehicle sales are not permitted in areas with that zoning, the special use permit request was essentially rendered moot. As such, the planning commission approved a recommendation for denial of the permit.

The next meeting of the Cherokee County Planning Commission will be its monthly work session at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.

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