May 6, 2007
ON LARGEST REZONE AND UPCOMING MEETINGS
4/26/07 neighbors and concerned citizens turned out to listen
and ask questions at the Planning & Zoning hearing on
the Bedford Falls Development rezoning of 898 acres. The
courtroom was full.
presented their proposal, with Christophe Drumain, the planner
and designer (we think) giving the presentation. Several
complained later about not being able to understand much
of what was said; Mr. Drumain is from France and had an
accent not familiar to many of us “Southerners.” However,
the presentation showed us
something that most of us have never seen—a new “ruralism”
It was explained
that the N.E. Georgia Regional Development Commission (RDC)
would have to complete a DRI--
DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL IMPACT—review before
the P&Z could vote on this project. This DRI form is
to be completed by the county government to provide basic
project information that will allow the RDC to determine
if the project appears to meet or exceed applicable DRI
thresholds. Surrounding counties
give their input (and approval or disapproval) and determine
how a development of this size would affect them and their
The rezone request
is for RR—Rural Residential, which requires 3-acre lots;
however, with the “Conservation Subdivision” design, the
lots do not have to be 3 acres. In fact, the citizens
were told the lots would range from 1.5 acres up to 8 acres,
depending on the lay of the land. Grouping of cottages also
appeared to be on less than 1.5 acre lots.
as well as two other “owners/principals” attended the meeting.
They said they were experienced developers and had done
this type of project in past. The
Ford Plantation in the Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah) area
is one of those projects. Go to the following link and just
watch the pictures as they come up.
The Ford Plantation
development offers hunting, fishing, nature trails, golf,
a deep-water marina, equestrian, spa, and sports facilities
as well as a world-class restaurant.
proposed development, tentatively named “Monticello Farms”,
would have hunting, fishing, lakes, an equestrian area,
and clubhouse. A Homeowners Association
would maintain everything about this development; it would
be a gated community. The purpose is having a development
with the “Preservation of Land” and its character. There
would be large houses on more acreage as well as cottages
around the lake. The houses in other areas would be “on
the edges behind the trees” and not visible from the road.
the developers, the project would mostly have Retirees with
no children that want to get “back to their roots.” They
would bring money to community without much impact on the
infrastructure. Concerning traffic, schools, etc., those
attending were told that those that lived in the project
would only be there about 30% of the time. Over
50 and/or Retirement Communities are the “hot” item right
now. A recent article in the AJC listed many that are now
being built in this area—Griffin, Lake Oconee, and near
See entire article
at this link:
a dream: For older baby boomer homeowners tired of chores,
active-adult communities offer new ways to live, learn
touched on in the presentation:
- Won’t cut
trees – need wildlife –
all we need to and use other land to best potential
people with out children – grandparents – 2nd homes, etc.
- “Green building”
– “Green Certified”
- Storm water
management – sewer on site
- Clean &
8:10PM people presented Questions:
- How many
houses – under 250
- Who is responsible
for maintaining land & common areas – Homeowners assoc
--“staff” paid by Homeowners Assoc.
- What about
the roads --Roads not to be deeded to county
- What about
wells? How will affect existing wells of those that live
there? --Can develop water sources – wetland systems –
treatment plant with lakes on property
- Need more
information on # units, size units, protective covenants
to make decision--Answer: “County will say how many units”
– “would like to be part of new zoning county is on –
conservation subdivision projects”
interjected that “Open space
will never be sold. NEVER! Will keep as it is now.”
- What will
the price be? --No price range established. Looking at
lot costs now. But under more questioning said $90,000
to $300,000 per lot--it also depends on
the amenities--how many and what they are. No
TWG would like
to suggest the name of Palalto
Properties rather than Monticello Farms.
This is in the Palalto area of our county, which is rich
in its own history. During WWII,
its own post office. It is also where some escaped German
Prisoners were apprehended. We hope the developers will
consider this name, which has significance in the area the
development is proposed.
Toward the end
of the meeting some people lost their cool. The
Developers presented a good, well thought out plan. People
should think about this plan. Think of questions that answer
real concerns. What will the impact be?
Will it be better than 180 “cookie cutter” houses that could
be built now--each house on its own 5 acres with its own
well and septic tank? Which will affect residents in area
more—the proposed project or unregulated development on
5 acre lots? What is best for Jasper County overall? All
these questions need to be answered. Emotions have to be
put aside and intelligent questions need to be formulated
so we can all decide what is the goal of the developers
and what will be the true impact on our county, our property
taxes, police and fire, etc. Having
no more growth in the area where “we” live would be great,
but if there is growth, what kind is best?
If you have questions, write them down and ask them at the
though many people think the next meeting for the “Bedford
Farms Development” rezone will be this coming Thursday,
May 10, 2007 at 7:00PM, that meeting will be more of an
informational meeting about Conservation Subdivisions.
Monticello Farms meeting is to be announced at that time
and will also have to be run in the legal ads again when
it is time for the P&Z to hold another public hearing.
the advertisement in the paper: On May 10th, Chris Anderson,
P&Z Director, will be hosting a viewing of the Randall
Arendt video, a shortened version of his live presentation
back in February 2007. The subject of this meeting is “Conservation
Subdivision Design and how it might apply to Jasper County.”
Farms” does want to emulate the concept of conservation
design, but this presentation is not about their proposal.
If you have
further questions you may call Chris Anderson at 706-468-4905.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.