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September 16, 2014
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Posted: Wednesday, September 3rd 2014 at 10:16am

Demorest delays action on Piedmont Housing Village

By Rob Moore Editor
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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The Demorest City Council votes to delay action on the proposed Piedmont Housing Village. (Photo/Rob Moore)
DEMOREST - A mixed-use development planned by Piedmont College on Demorest-Mt. Airy Highway will have to wait a little while longer for approval.

No one spoke in favor of or against during two public hearings on the request by Piedmont College to construct Piedmont Housing Village, a development that would feature commercial businesses along Demorest-Mt. Airy Highway with apartment-style dorms behind them.

A question arose about whether the development could be on a septic system since it is located within 883 feet of Demorest sewer service.

City officials say a Georgia Environmental Protection Division rule states a development must tie onto public sewer if it is available within 1,000 feet.

Piedmont College President Dr. James Mellichamp said the college's engineers would like to see a copy of that rule.

Mellichamp, who provided information to the council during Tuesday night's meeting, said the contractor must start on Oct. 1 in order to complete the project by July 25, 2015, in order for the 192 dorm beds to be ready for occupation during the 2015-16 college year.

Mellichamp said the new housing is necessary because the college currently is at capacity, with a record 604 students living on campus. The college plans to increase housing to between 700 and 750.

The new development would allow the college to take some older dormitories "off line" for renovations, which now is not possible, Mellichamp said.

Since no one spoke out during the public hearings, the Demorest City Council voted Tuesday night to close the public hearing and delay action on the request until an upcoming called meeting.

Council members and Mayor Rick Austin overwhelmingly expressed support for the planned development, but said they want to provide an opportunity for the city's engineer and the college's engineer to talk about the sewerage issue before taking final action.
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