An application for annexation and rezoning request for 183.18 +/- acres located off Campground Road could soon be decided after it was first submitted nearly a year ago. The McDonough city council will conduct a public hearing about the request and vote on
Monday, March 16, at 6 pm postponed.
Update: public review for the annexation request and rezoning has been postponed from the March 10 meeting of the McDonough Planning Commission to April 14.
The council will be presented the updated site plan in a workshop meeting this Thursday, March 5, at 6 pm. Meetings are held at McDonough city hall on Keys Ferry Street and are free and open to the public to attend.
The developer, General Holdings Unlimited, LLC, is proposing 293 lots. This is a reduction from the previously proposed 410 lots after Henry County objected to the annexation request.
The commissioners’ objection required the developer to conform with the county’s comprehensive land use plan not to exceed two net units per acre. State law does not allow the county to block an annexation and the decision ultimately rests with the city council.
The applicant is requesting to rezone the property from unincorporated RA (residential agricultural) to McDonough’s R-75 (single-family residential) zoning district with residential group project (RGP) development guidelines. RGP allows the developer to build smaller lots.
Moving Henry Forward founder Clayton Carte is opposed to the annexation request and encourages others to attend the upcoming council meetings in response to this proposal. Three reasons for opposition are as follows:
- Minimum lot size
- Impact to city limits
- Impact to city services
Minimum Lot Size
First, the proposed minimum lot size of 7,500 square feet is inconsistent with the surrounding area and comprehensive land use plan. The subdivision to the south, Brush Arbor, where the applicant meets contiguous requirements to apply for annexation, has minimum lot sizes of 10,000 square feet.
Located less than a mile away off Elliott Road, the board of commissioners rezoned a conservation subdivision last year requiring average lot sizes of 18,000 sq ft. The project is also required to include minimum lot widths of one-hundred feet compared to proposed sixty feet wide lots off Campground.
If the city council denies the application for annexation, zoning conditions similar to the Elliott Road property could be anticipated if the applicant filed for a rezoning in unincorporated Henry County.
Impact to City Limits
Second, the subject property, if annexed, would extend McDonough city limits further north towards Union Grove. The map above highlights the subject property in yellow and shows the existing city limits shaded in purple.
In 2017, when McDonough completed an annexation study to consider a “15–30 year plan,” the subject property was not included. As a result of the study, McDonough attempted its first “infill” annexation in 2018. The proposed annexation would have closed gaps along highway 155—not far from the subject property—creating seamless city limits, but unincorporated residents within the affected area soundly defeated the proposal at the ballot box. The vote was 32.3% yes to 67.7% no.
If annexed, the subject property would continue a historic pattern of McDonough annexing large tracts of land for development and create additional areas that McDonough would need to annex in the future to provide seamless city limits.
Impact to City Services
Finally, the existing gaps in city limits require city personnel to frequently travel outside of the city before re-entering city limits in their day-to-day operations. The subject property would continue this trend if annexed.
This can lengthen response times for public safety, require the construction of new city facilities in annexed areas, and in general, increase drive time for city staff between tasks.
If the property is left unincorporated, all services will remain the responsibility of Henry County to provide like the surrounding properties.