Talking it Over

Walton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kevin Little, standing, talks with Commissioner Dr. Jeremy Adams before a special called meeting Tuesday night, March 26, 2019, in Monroe, Ga.

MONROE, Ga. — Dozens of people planned to protest an event space proposed for Double Springs Church Road.

Their trip to the Board of Commissioners meeting ended happily, and they didn’t even have to ask county leaders to hear their side of the story.

Hours before the commissioners’ monthly meeting June 4, Reinhard and Annette Knecht Seier withdrew their request for conditional use to allow an event venue at 1775 Double Springs Church Road NW, Monroe.

They planned to build a wedding and event space with 85 parking spaces.

Members of the Planning Commission voted in May to recommend the board deny the request. Attorney Andrea Gray presented Planning Commission members with a petition signed by 103 people opposed to the request.

Gray said the proposed venue didn’t fit the rural character of the area, which includes several farms of 5 acres or larger. She said there were 100 venues within a 25-mile radius.

Neighbors Laurie Hawks and Vernon Lane also spoke against the proposed venue at the Planning Commission meeting. Tip Huynh, an engineer with Alcovy Surveying and Engineering, spoke in favor of it on behalf of the Seiers.

Jenny S. Carter, a Monroe attorney, represented neighbors who opposed the venue.

“We are certainly in agreement with it being withdrawn,” she told commissioners.

Chairman Kevin Little told the neighbors in attendance they shouldn’t worry about the Seiers brining plans back up, unless they want to go through the application process again.

“It won’t be anything that slips in here next month,” he said.

The Board of Commissioners also approved an impact fee ordinance. No one spoke for or against resumption of the impact fees at two public hearings on the matter.

The impact fees, assessed on new construction in an attempt to offset the cost of growth in the county borne by public safety, public works and other government agencies, were implemented in 2005 but suspended in 2013 as the economy cooled and housing starts were near zero.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners:

  • Agreed to abandon a portion of Malcom Lane, Covington.
  • Approved, with conditions, a request to rezone 38.21 acres at 3799 N. Sharon Church Road, Loganville, to R1 Private Drive Subdivision from Single-Family Residential District (R1). Reliant Homes Georgia made the application for land owned by MFT Land Investments LLC of Loganville.
  • Approved a land use change to Rural Residential, from Neighborhood Residential, and rezoned 114 acres on Monroe-Jersey Road to Agricultural District (A) from Rural Estate District (A2) and Two-Family Residential District (R2).
  • Approved the request of David and Judy Autry for conditional use of a guest house at 5226 Hawkins Academy Road, Social Circle.
  • Approved the conditional use for a Buddhist temple with assembly hall on 5.25 acres at 3615 Miller Bottom Road, Loganville. Griffin & Davis Consulting Inc., of Peachtree Corners made the application for owner Khanh Quang Ho, who lives in a home at the property.
  • Accepted a request to waive curb and gutter requirements on a 26-lot subdivision on H.D. Atha Road to be developed by Rosewood Development Co. The measure passed 5-1 with Commissioner Mark Banks opposed.

The board will meet again at 6 p.m. July 9.

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