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									                                                                                                                      Rezone #5900

                                         Planning Department
                                        Oconee County, Georgia
                                               STAFF REPORT

DATE: December 4, 2009

STAFF REPORT BY: Brad S. Callender, Planner

APPLICANT NAME: Beall & Company

PROPERTY OWNER: Georgia Bank & Trust Company of

LOCATION: South side of Mars Hill Road and the west side
of Shenandoah Drive

PARCEL SIZE: ±18.327 Acres

EXISTING ZONING: O-I-P (Office-Institutional-Professional


ACTION REQUESTED: Rezone O-I-P to R-1 (Single-Family Residential District)

REQUEST SUMMARY: The owners are requesting to downzone their property in order to allow development of a
single-family residential subdivision.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of this rezone request subject to conditions.

       PLANNING COMMISSION: December 14, 2009
       BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS: January 5, 2010

ATTACHMENTS: Application
             Zoning Impact Analysis
             Architectural Photos
             Site Review
             Aerial Photo
             Tax Map
             Preliminary Site Plan – The Summit, Phase 2
             Property Survey
             Concept Plan

                                                        Rezone Staff Report, Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta #5900, Page 1 of 5
                                                                                                                                    Rezone #5900

       The subject property was rezoned from A-1 to O-I-P by the BOC on 09/07/04 to be developed as the 3
       phase of The Summit office park
       No site development or construction plans have ever been submitted for the 3 phase of the office park
         Level terrain with a mixture of open pastures and wooded areas
         A pond is located in the southern portion of the site
         Springheads appear to be located at the head of the pond near the center of the site
                          EXISTING LAND USES                                                      EXISTING ZONING
       NORTH         Office park, single-family residences, neighborhood and     A-1 (Agricultural), R-1 (Single-Family Residential), & O-
                     community scale churches, and undeveloped                   I-P (Office-Institutional-Professional)
       SOUTH         Single-family residential subdivisions and undeveloped      A-1 (Agricultural) & R-1 (Single-Family Residential)
        EAST         Single-family residential subdivisions                      A-1 (Agricultural) & R-1 (Single-Family Residential)
        WEST         Elementary and middle school, single-family residential     A-1 (Agricultural), R-1 (Single-Family Residential), & O-
                     subdivisions, and undeveloped                               I-P (Office-Institutional-Professional)

      Downzone undeveloped portion of The Summit office park for single-family residential subdivision
      Site is currently planned to be the 3 phase of The Summit office park
      The owners propose to develop the site as the 2 phase of Meridian subdivision
           o Proposed 2 phase of Meridian
                     14 single-family residential lots
                     minimum lot size – 30,000 Sf
                     average lot size – 1.10 acres
                     dwelling prices – $500,000 to $900,000
                     minimum dwelling sizes – 2,500 Sf
                     average dwelling size – 4,000 Sf
                     dwelling exteriors – predominantly brick with stucco and hardy-board detailing
           o Existing Meridian development:
                     54 single-family residential lots
                     minimum lot size – 30,000 Sf
                     range of dwelling values – $314,261 to $650,638
                     minimum dwelling size – 2,790 Sf
                     1 amenity area lot with a swimming pool, cabana, tennis court, and a
           o Current development plan for The Summit includes:
                     office buildings - 64
                     development area – 34.78 acres
                     total building floor area – 347,800 Sf
           o Revised development plan for The Summit will include:
                     office buildings - 33
                     development area – 16.453 acres
                     total building floor area – 164,560 Sf
        140 ADT
        Development proposes to connect to Shenandoah Drive inside Meridian subdivision
        Existing County water main is located in the Shenandoah Drive right-of-way
        Development proposes to connect to the existing County water main
        Street network street inside this development will be public
       No 100 Year Flood Plain or Jurisdictional Wetland areas are located on the site
       Waste water from the single-family dwellings will be treated by individual septic tanks and drain fields
                                                                  Rezone Staff Report, Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta #5900, Page 2 of 5
                                                                                                                        Rezone #5900

          Drainage easement not marked on Lot 3
          1 or 2 springs not marked are located on the property (Lots 10 and 11)
          No access easement needed on Lot 3
          Regardless of that shown on the concept plan, right-of-way line shall be a minimum of 18 feet behind
          the back of curb (for turnarounds)
          If approved, stormwater quality treatment will be required
          Other comments reserved for preliminary plat and site development plan review

   A. How does the current request compare to the existing uses and zoning of nearby properties? There are
      existing single-family subdivisions adjacent to this site with the same zoning classifications as this request.
   B. To what extent are property values diminished by the particular zoning restrictions of the current
      zoning category? Property values are not diminished under the current O-I-P zoning classification.
   C.   To what extent does the destruction of the property values of the individual property owner promote
        the health, safety, or general welfare of the public with consideration to:
         1. Population density and effect on community facilities such as streets, schools, water and sewer?
            The proposed development will generate approximately 140 additional average daily trips to
            Meridian subdivision. This increase should not negatively affect streets inside Meridian subdivision.
         2. Environmental impact? An existing pond on the site will be utilized as a stormwater management
            facility for the development. An existing stormwater management facility located inside Meridian will
            be removed to allow construction of the street accessing the site. No 100 Year Flood Plain or
            Jurisdictional Wetland areas are located on the site. One, possible two, springheads are located near
            the northern edge of the existing pond. Septic tank and drain field locations will require Health
            Department approval.
         3. Effect on adjoining property values? As long dwellings are constructed with similar architecture and
            quality of the existing dwellings in Meridian, adjoining property values should not be affected.
   D. What is the relative gain to the public in maintaining the current zoning category, as compared to the
      hardship imposed upon the current property owner? There is no relative gain to the public in
      maintaining the current zoning category, especially when considering the request is to downzone the
      property from office to residential. No hardship will be imposed on the property owner if the current
      zoning on the site remains.
   E.   What is the length of time that the property has been vacant as currently zoned, considered in the
        context of land development in the area in the vicinity of the property? The site was rezoned in
        September of 2007 to be developed as the 3 phase of The Summit office park.
   F.   Is the proposed use consistent with the stated purpose of the zoning district that is being requested?
        The purpose of the R-1 (Single-Family Residential) zoning district is to protect and promote a suitable
        environment for family life, to discourage any use which would generate other than residential traffic on
        minor streets and to protect the orderly and future development of land in accordance with
        comprehensive development plans for the county. This request meets the intent of the stated purpose of
        the R-1 zoning district.
   G. How does this request conform with or diverge from established land use patterns? Established land use
      patterns in this vicinity of Oconee County include a number of single-family residential developments
      similar to this request.

                                                          Rezone Staff Report, Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta #5900, Page 3 of 5
                                                                                                            Rezone #5900
H.        How does this request conform with or diverge from the Future Land Use Map or the goals and
          objectives of the Comprehensive Plan? The 2030 Future Development Map designates this tract with
          both the “Suburban Living” and “Regional Center” character areas. Both the Suburban Living and Regional
          Center character areas describe detached single-family residential development as appropriate land uses
          within these character areas.
          Development strategies for both the Suburban Living and Regional Center character areas include:
               Protect existing neighborhoods from negative impacts.
               Promote new residential development that fosters a sense of community and provides essential mobility,
               recreation, and open space, while assuring suitability with surrounding neighborhoods.
               Encourage appropriate reuse, redevelopment, or refurbishment of areas where activity and attractiveness have
               Promote walk-ability within each community through path systems or sidewalks, connecting to focal points like
               schools, parks, community centers or commercial activity centers located within walking distance of residences.
               Provide a wide variety of mixed uses, size and intensity of uses (from low to high), and types of uses in order to
               create and maintain the regional-serving role of the character area.
               Transitions in intensity of development should be established approaching the boundaries whenever possible,
               moving in gradations from high-intensity regional office parks and retail shopping centers down to low-intensity
               single-family neighborhoods. Where a gradual transition is impractical, major buffering between the
               development and adjacent uses or other solutions should be established through zoning and site plan
               Plan for a community trail and sidewalk network that is as friendly to alternative modes of transportation as to
               the automobile.
          Development guidelines for the Suburban Living and Regional Center character areas include residential
          development with overall densities similar to this request. This request meets the guiding principles,
          policies, and strategies of the Suburban Living and Regional Center character areas. This request also
          presents a unique opportunity to establish connection of a pedestrian access between the development
          and Malcolm Bridge Middle school.
     I.   What is the availability of adequate sites for the proposed use in districts that permit such use? There
          are a number of existing residential developments with unimproved lots, as well as, undeveloped
          properties zoned for residential development located throughout Oconee County.
     J.   Is the site suitable for the proposed use relative to the requirements set forth in the Unified
          Development Code (off-street parking, setbacks, buffer zones, open space, etc.)? The site is suitable for
          the proposed development to meet the requirements of the Oconee County Unified Development Code.
          However, the property owner submitted a request for approval of a hardship variance along with this
          rezone application. The hardship variance is being requested to provide relief from UDC Section
          1008.04.f.1 to reduce the required separation distance of a cul-de-sac from a project boundary.


Based on Board of Commissioners policies, decision making criteria and standards outlined in the development
codes of Oconee County, staff recommends approval subject to the following conditions to be fulfilled by the
developer at his/her expense:
     1.   The development must be connected to the Oconee County water system at the developer’s expense in a
          manner approved by Oconee County Public Works and Utility Departments.
     2.   Development structures shall meet or exceed the architectural standards as indicated on the concept
          plan, narrative, representative architectural sketches and other documents submitted with the zoning
          application and attached hereto, paying special attention to the materials and design elements shown in
          the representative photos.
     3.   The development shall not contain more than 14 single-family residential lots. Unless otherwise
          approved, all future plans and plats shall refer to development of the subject property as “Meridian,
          Phase 2”.
     4.   Minimum dwelling sizes shall be 2,500 Sf. Every home shall be constructed with basement or crawl space
          foundations. Raised or poured slab foundations shall not be allowed.

                                                                Rezone Staff Report, Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta #5900, Page 4 of 5
                                                                                                    Rezone #5900
5.   Unless a hardship variance is approved by the Board of Commissioners, the cul-de-sac proposed within
     the minimum required separation distance from the project boundary shall be relocated on the site to
     comply with Section 1008.04.f.1 of the Unified Development Code.
6.   Developer shall provide pedestrian access to Malcolm Bridge Middle school. Said access shall include a
     walking path, sidewalk, or other similar improved surface approved by the Oconee County Planning

                                                    Rezone Staff Report, Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta #5900, Page 5 of 5

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