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8-23-04 New Oconee 810 Lot Subdivision Coming On GA Highway 53

Remember all the publicity in recent months about County Officials and Development Community claiming that Oconee County was not growing fast. (Melvin Davis in A B-H on 8-22-04)-noting that Oconee County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Georgia, which is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. In years past, Athens has gotten the lion's share of federal and state road-building money, but now much of that growth has moved to Oconee, he said.

AVOC

August 22, 2004

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Tract of 500.61 acres Between GA 53 & Mars Hill Rd Being Reviewed

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Big Growth Plans For County Being Revealed

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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As some have speculated, the post-election activity on development is getting off with a Bang!   The large ‘Dooley Tract’ plan is currently being reviewed by the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Commission.   This is a pre-condition for rezoning.

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It is obviously a ‘small lot’ development with a school site and fire station lot thrown in the deal.   That type of zoning activity is not healthy for the County in the long run.  The real costs to the County will come in building, equipping and staffing the School and Fire Station as well as other county facilities needed.

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Rumors have circulated during the recent election campaign that certain promises were made before the land purchase was completed.   If true, that is a corruption of the Zoning process.

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Oconee seems to have had too many deals done in recent years in Executive Sessions and one-on-one meetings with the public left out of the process.The media has mostly printed canned press releases about these subjects.

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We just completed one election cycle and folks were beginning to stew.Watch for more ‘Stewing’ over the next year or so as more‘behind the scenes’ deals become public knowledge.

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Remember all the publicity in recent months about County Officials and Development Community claiming that Oconee County was not growing fast.   This was claimed in spite of the tremendous number of large developments under construction and more in the pipeline.

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A quote by Chairman Melvin Davis in today’s Athens Banner-Herald contradicts his campaign statements about rates of growth.Regarding the New MACORTS Transportation Plan:‘Davis, for his part, said he was satisfied with the plan. "I think they've done a good job with the MACORTS plan. I know there are issues within each county," he said. But at least in Oconee County, it should mean reduced congestion, he said. See Athens Banner-Herald, 8-22-04, Some fear more traffic under plan, By Lee Shearer.

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And there are reasons for the large amount of money planned for Oconee projects, he said, noting that Oconee County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Georgia, which is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation.

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In years past, Athens has gotten the lion's share of federal and state road-building money, but now much of that growth has moved to Oconee, he said.   "I guess it's our turn. We've been waiting for a long time for some of these projects to come on line," he said”.

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The AB-H Article also described a new Oconee County Highway Project to widen GA 53 from Butler’s Crossing to Elder Road.   The Article did not advise the status of the widening of GA 53 to Watkinsville which has been in the works for at least six years.While these projects are for a 25 year period of time, with no real funding in the near future, it does indicate the coordination of development and transportation planning in Oconee County.

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According to the Athens Banner-Herald Article, the following Oconee Projects are included in the 25 year plan:

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1. Mars Hill Road widening (Oconee): $ 27.5 million project to widen a 6.8-mile stretch of Mars Hill to four lanes.

2. Georgia Highway 53 widening (Oconee): $ 19.3 million to four-lane a three-mile stretch between Hog Mountain and Elder roads.

3. Epps Bridge Parkway-U.S. Highway 441 connector (Oconee): $ 17.7 million to create 2.8 miles of new road in northern Oconee County along the route of the old Epps Bridge Road.

4. Georgia Highway 316 frontage road (Oconee): $ 16.5 million new road would run on the north side of Ga. 316, connecting Mars Hill and Jimmie Daniel roads.


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