Canton to consider new mixed-use development
by Joshua Sharpe
December 25, 2013 10:59 PM | 2634 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — A highly commercial portion of Highway 20 could see even more activity, with a businessman’s plans to sell off land for a mixed-use development across the street from Canton Marketplace.

Billy Hasty, a Canton-based attorney, is asking the city of Canton to annex more than 20 acres into the city for the deve-lopment that he described Monday as “something higher scale” than Canton Marketplace. Hasty also sold the land where the marketplace is located.

“There’s been a lot of service-type businesses interested,” Hasty said, of proposed uses for the land “It’s conceptual right now. Hopefully, it will be a real positive addition.”

The proposed commercial development would be built on the acreage many residents remember as once filled with abandoned chicken houses and junk cars.

The Canton Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Hasty’s requests to annex and rezone the land Jan. 27 and is expected to make a recommendation to the city council afterward for approval or denial, said Pat Gold, commission chairwoman.

Gold said Monday she hadn’t yet reviewed the requests. She added she didn’t believe the city had heard from any residents in the area, either for or against the proposed development, situated between the Governors Walk and Estates at Brooke Park subdivisions.

Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood said he hadn’t seen the plans yet, but he understood that, eventually, commercial development will come across the street from Canton Marketplace.

“I certainly don’t have a problem with it being commercial, because it’s going to be commercial,” Hobgood said Monday. “I think we just have to look at the details of it. We want to make sure we’ve got as safe of an entrance and exit as possible.”

Hobgood said he hoped the planning commission would consider stipulating that the development couldn’t totally open until after the Georgia Department of Transportation finishes its long-awaited project to widen Highway 20 in the area.

“(The Planning Commission) should consider that,” the mayor said. “We don’t need what we’ve got at Canton Marketplace doubled. It’s still a mess. Traffic is not good there.”

GDOT was not able as of Monday to give an estimation of when the construction could start or be complete, because of a computer system crash, a spokesman said. The most recent estimated time for construction to begin was in May 2013, a goal which wasn’t met for the project running from Interstate 575 to Scott Road on Highway 20, according to GDOT’s website.

Hasty said GDOT’s plans have been considered in the development, which likely won’t be up and running until after the widening project is done.

“This has been designed with the four-laning in mind,” he said. “We’ve been talking with DOT from day one. I wouldn’t just say ‘Do this, and we’ll see what happens.’”

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