Commissioners to mull corporate park expansion; Hickory Flat also on agenda
by TCT Staff
May 04, 2014 01:01 AM | 2972 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Two large, controversial potential developments are set to be considered by the Cherokee Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

In April, commissioners responded to requests for more time from the developers and delayed taking a vote on the proposed projects, an expansion of the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park and a residential development in Hickory Flat.

The tabled projects are on the agenda for the commission’s meeting Tuesday night at 6.

Both of the projects were previously shot down by the Cherokee Planning Commission, with members of the resident board and neighbors to the potential developments airing concerns the projects would harm the areas. The Board of Commissioners makes the final call on zoning cases.

The development in the Hickory Flat community is being planning by Chatham Neighborhoods LLC, which has asked the county to rezone 67.5 acres off Highway 140 and Batesville Road to make way for 115 homes. Since the original request, the Alpharetta-based company has bowed to critics and drawn up a proposal with slightly fewer homes, though some residents and officials said the developer needed to go further.

Chatham’s most up to date plans weren’t available from Cherokee County on Friday.

Previously, many members of Hickory Flat United Methodist Church, which is trying to sell part of the land to Chatham, have expressed their need to get rid of the property.

Some residents nearby the company’s site, though, have been firm in saying the proposal was out of character with the largely rural area. They felt it could create issues of traffic and school overcrowding.

The worries of those near the Development Authority of Cherokee County’s proposed expansion of the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park have been somewhat similar, if not more numerous.

The county-sponsored authority has asked to rezone 35.28 acres on Old Alabama Road near Highway 92 to light industrial in hopes of capitalizing on what authority representatives say is an overwhelming amount of business interest in the area.

The existing 100-plus acre park in southwest Cherokee opened in 2013 and is home to Inalfa Roof Systems, which expects to employ 400 people in the next few years.

Inalfa was considered the anchor for the sprawling park and, according to officials, has spawned even more interest in the area, coveted for its position near Interstate 75. Because of the prospects, the authority said it had to have land rezoned and ready for business.

Some residents — and the Planning Commission — didn’t agree.

They have aired concerns about Old Alabama Road’s ability to handle a potential increase in truck traffic, and the plans were not in compliance with the county’s land use plan. Residents also had concerns about noise, safety and general quality of life.

The development authority asked the Board of Commissioners in mid-April for more time to consider ways to make the plans more palatable.

The most recent version of the plans weren’t available from the county Friday.

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