DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners tabled a variance request by Chestatee Development Corporation Thursday to gain a better understanding of the legal complexities surrounding the issue.
The petitioner has asked for a variance to the master plan for Chestatee subdivision that would allow Brian Ferris, the property owner, to build lots with 70-foot widths instead of 100-foot widths, thus allowing 11 additional lots in the Linkside section of Chestatee.
The vote to table was unanimous and followed a 10-minute, back-and-forth discussion between County Attorney Lynn Frey and Ethan Underwood, the lawyer for the petitioner.
Dave Pollack was one of six Chestatee homeowners who spoke in opposition to the variance.
“Linkside was originally marketed as luxury homes on half-acre lots starting at $600,000,” he said. “The quick math that I did shows we will lose 20-30 percent (home value) not only in Linkside but in all Chestatee if this goes through.”
Loss of home value was the issue most often mentioned by homeowners who spoke in opposition but traffic was another concern.
Michelle Pyne expressed concern about traffic safety, especially at the entrance to the Linkside section. “Fireside Lane is the only entry into Linkside,” she said. “Everyone living in or visiting Linkside must navigate the intersection of Fireside Lane and Fireside Drive. The golf cart path crosses that intersection and it has already caused some serious safety concerns. The intersection is also about 30-40 feet from the swimming pool, tennis courts and basketball courts so that adds to the foot traffic there. Adding at least 22 more cars, if not more, to the master plan for Linkside would certainly make those serious concerns even more.”
Frey questioned Underwood about where the authority to modify the master plan comes from.
“Our assertion is the master plan references the requirement for a covenant and the covenant states the declarant has the authority to modify those lots,” Underwood said. “Our position, as laid out in our reservation of rights, is that specific approval supersedes a general provision of the land use resolution.”
In other decisions, the Board:
- Accepted the results of the Fiscal Year 2017 financial audit by Rushton Company;
- Ratified the Georgia Trauma Commission Grant that will fund the purchase of emergency equipment for ambulances;
- Disposal of four climate control units for the Detention Center;
- Approved a list of surplus items to be sold on Govdeals.com;
- Approved a design/build contract with Charles Black Construction in the amount of $2,644,127 for the new Fleet/Public Works complex;
- Approved a special event business license for Carol Stream Amusements, Inc. Carnival to operate in the parking lot of North Georgia Premium Outlets. The vote was 3-1 with Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix opposed;
- Approved a site plan for John Megel Chevrolet to build a used car lot on its property;
- Approved the 2018 Land Use District Map;
- Approved the re-appointment of Joey Bearden to the Department of Family and Children Services board.
- Approved moving the next regular meeting to July 3.
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