Whitfield County commissioners to take up zoning proposals for Cohutta-area subdivisions Monday

·2 min read

Sep. 9—The Whitfield County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on zoning requests for two proposed subdivisions near Cohutta when the commissioners meet Monday at 6 p.m. in the courthouse.

The meeting agenda includes a request by Wheeler Dam Properties to rezone 34.4 acres on Wheeler Dam Drive near Cohutta to zero lot line residential from general agriculture.

At a meeting of the the Dalton-Varnell-Whitfield County Planning Commission in August, several speakers expressed concern about that request.

Zero lot line residential allows up to 10 houses per acre, and several speakers expressed concern that the proposed rezoning of the Wheeler Dam Drive property could lead to a subdivision of more than 300 homes. They said they didn't think Wheeler Dam Drive, which is a narrow, two-lane blacktop road, could handle the traffic, and they said it could increase enrollment at local schools.

Developer Ed Cagle called that "misinformation," saying he plans about 120 houses.

The staff recommendation was to deny the rezoning request for the Wheeler Dam Drive property, and the planning commission voted 4-0 to recommend that the county commissioners deny the request. Chairman Jim Lidderdale typically votes only if there is a tie.

Monday's agenda also includes a request by developer Dave Canter to modify some of the conditions placed on the development of Camden Farms, a planned 400-acre subdivision just south of Cohutta on Cleveland Highway.

Several speakers at the planning commission meeting also opposed that request.

Canter asked the planning commission members to recommend changes to some of the conditions county commissioners placed on Camden Farms when they approved its rezoning in July. Specifically, he asked that a condition that no tenant could occupy more than 20,000 square feet in the commercial portion of the development be increased to 100,000 square feet. He also asked that a condition allowing only monument signs no more than 15 feet high along Cleveland Highway be changed to follow regular county rules. Monument signs are made from durable materials such as brick or stone. The commercial property would still be required to follow the county's general sign laws, which Ethan Calhoun of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, who does staff work for the planning commission, said would not permit billboards.

The staff report found no reason to oppose the changes, and the planning commission voted 3-1 to recommend the county commissioners approve the changes. Planning Commissioner David Pennington IV cast the dissenting vote.

The planning commission votes are advisory. County commissioners will have the final decision on the rezoning requests.