Byron council rezones three land tracts

Telegraph correspondentMay 12, 2014 

BYRON -- City Council rezoned three tracts of land behind The Medical Center of Peach County from agricultural to commercial allowing for what owners hope will become a medical campus.

Frank and Gayle Borah sought the rezoning for property behind the new medical facility along John E. Sullivan Road.

Frank Borah said he hopes to see the property, now open fields, become home to doctor’s offices, an elderly care home and other potential medical use facilities.

The council also heard another property matter Monday, this one involving the not-yet-developed, long-delayed Hawks Ridge subdivision off Ga. 247 Connector west of the Medical Center.

B.J. Walker of property owner Peachtree Five Capital said he wanted clarification and changes to requirements he said stand in the way of building permits being issued at the site.

Walker said he was concerned by what he called new engineering costs related to street lights and easements as well as possible costs of building a $15,000 cul-de-sac on the property.

He said his company bought the property in 2007 with plans for immediate development, but the original builders pulled out. Peachtree Five Capital is trying to sell the property but must be able to tell buyers whether the land can be built on, he said.

Based on previously approved land plats and the fact his company has been paying taxes based on those land plats, building permits should not be withheld, he argued.

Mayor Larry Collins and council members maintained the issue was not so clear cut.

They said new issues have arisen, especially involving the construction of the cul-de-sac, and that original approvals were based on the idea that the road in question would be extended and connect with other roads to allow school buses, fire trucks and other safety vehicles to turn around.

Now, since that may not happen anytime soon after construction begins, they said, the issue has became one of public safety.

Without conceding to Walker’s wishes, Councilman Michael Chidester said he hoped a “middle ground” could be reached but said public safety could not be sacrificed. He proposed a meeting next week between the city utilities committee of which he is the chairman and Peachtree Five Capital to work out possible solutions.

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