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Posted: Tuesday, July 10th 2012 at 9:19pm

Site across from Cheddars, Olive Garden receives rezoning approval

By Marc Eggers Staff
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GAINESVILLE – The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board unanimously approved a request made by America’s Home place, Inc. to rezone 4.7 acres on Dawsonville Highway.

The rezoned site sits directly across the highway from another AHP development, hosting the new Cheddars and Olive Garden restaurants.

"I'm pleased to present this request because I'm proud of what America's Home Place did across the street…I think it is a major enhancement to the area," said Jim Walters of Gainesville, AHP's attorney.

Walters added, "I think that that development has lived up to the presentation of being a first-class development…it's provided lots of jobs…it's provided lots of tax base, sales tax, and property taxes from otherwise vacant property."

Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the rezoning request.

Evans said the rezoning request fits perfectly with his groups’ commercial development plans, "to attract people and make Hall County a destination for shoppers."

"We have been very pleased with the progress of this development of this so far with the Cheddars and Olive Garden," Evans added, "and it’s no secret…that there’s a Buffalo Wild Wings sign already up behind those two."

Residents from the nearby (approximately 400 feet) Lakeshore Heights subdivision shared their concerns about maintaining the natural buffer between their homes and the proposed development.

Michael Proulx lives on Lakeshore Circle. Proulx said, "What I'm asking the Board to consider for the long term…as we continue to pave the sections that are available to be paved, we should take into due consideration – if not extraordinary consideration – our responsibilities to this area environmentally."

"You, in fact, are stewards," Proulx reminded the Board. "You are stewards of the long range vision of the 2030 Plan…not just the momentary perceived economic good-thing to do at the time."

The measure now goes before the Gainesville City Council for final approval.

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