Sunday, October 19, 2014

Oconee County Planning Commission To Review Plans For Another Medical Complex On Virgil Langford Road

New Phase: Three Sixteen Professional Quarter

The Oconee County Planning Commission will be asked tomorrow night to give its approval to the rezone of 14 acres at the corner of Virgil Langford Road and Jennings Mill Road that will be part of a 65-acre complex including medical and professional offices and a retirement community.

The project joins recently rezoned Resurgence Park, which now includes a dermatology and cancer center that is nearing completion and another retirement community under construction, in defining the area along Virgil Langford Road north of SR 316 as a medical office destination.

Entrance To Phase II

St. Mary’s Hospital owns another 70 acres nearby as part of its High Hills complex on Jennings Mill Road across SR Loop 10 from the Virgil Langford Road development, part of which is developed as a retirement community and dementia center.

Athens Regional Health Resources Inc. owns another 76 acres further west on the north side of SR 316, west of Jimmy Daniell Road. That land is undeveloped at present.

The rezone request before the Planning Commission tomorrow night is for what is being called Phase III of Three Sixteen Professional Quarter. Phase I is largely occupied. Construction is continuing on Phase II, but a number of buildings have tenants.

Hay Field To Business Use

Oconee Medical Holdings LLC is asking the Planning Commission to rezone the 14 acres for Phase III from agricultural use (A-1) to highway highway business use (B-2).

Phase II of the project is zoned Office-Institutional Professional (O-I-P), while Phase I is zoned B-2.

Phase I is at the corner of Virgil Langford Road and SR 316, while Phase II is midway between SR 316 and Jennings Mill Road on Virgil Langford Road.

Click To Enlarge

The retirement complex, to be called The Fairways Seniors Community, is behind Phase 1 and reachable through it. Those 25 acres were rezoned to O-I-P by the Board of Commissioners on Sept. 2.

Project Description

Oconee Medical Holdings is proposing to construct seven buildings totallying 140,000 square feet in size for Phase III.

Two 44,000-square-foot buildings will sit at the corner of Virgil Langford Road and Jennings Mill Road, and the remaining buildings will be at the rear of the property. Four of these will be 10,000 square feet in size, with the fifth occupying 12,000 square feet.

The project will have entrances both off Jennings Mill Road and off Virgil Langford Road and will connect to the other phases of the project only by bike and golf cart path.

When fully built out in five to seven years, Phase III will be valued at $30 million, according to the project narrative submitted with the zoning application.

Staff Approved

The county’s planning staff has recommended that the project be approved.

The Planning Commission, which meets at 7 p.m. in the courthouse in Watkinsville, will make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, which has the rezone on its agenda for action on Nov. 11.

Phase I

The property currently is owned by Teresa Burlingame of Richardson, Texas.

Oconee Medical Holdings LLC is based in Colbert. Tim Burgess and John Gavin Griffeth are the principals.

Earlier Phases

Phase I of the Three Sixteen Professional Quarter was rezoned in 2007 with the plan to build a 102-room hotel.

Today the 12-acre tract includes a number of buildings housing primary care physicians, dentists, and a variety of medical specialists.

Also housed in Phase I are Davita kidney dialysis facility and offices for financial services, insurance and advertising.

Phase II was rezoned in 2013 and currently has a pharmacy operating from one of the occupied buildings. That property is 14 acres.

Audiology, physical therapy and kidney specialists are set to open.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oconee County Chamber Of Commerce Had Beautiful Weather For Its Fall Festival

250 Vendors

A big crowd turned out today on a picture-perfect fall Georgia Saturday to enjoy the Oconee County Fall Festival in downtown Watkinsville.

Vendors numbering 250 stretched from Main Street to beyond Thrasher Drive, with the heaviest concentration in Rocket Field opposite the old school gym.

Booths offered food and displayed various kinds of arts and crafts.

Children could pet farm animals and ride ponies. Adults could adopt dogs and cats at the booth of Oconee County Animal Control.

With temperatures in the mid 70s, the crowed, expected to reach nearly 30,000, enjoyed strolling through what the Chamber of Commerce called a premier arts and crafts festival.

Remote Parking

The heart of the city was clogged, and visitors could walk from remote parking sites or catch a ride on a wagon pulled by a variety of tractors.

The Oconee Farmers Market, in operation each Saturday in front of the courthouse, extended its hours from the usual 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the closing of the festival. The festival booths opened at 9 a.m.

The Chamber stopped taking applications for booths when the number reached 250.

The festival started in 1974, but the Chamber billed this as the 40th anniversary of the event.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Watkinsville’s Approach To Beer And Wine Ordinance Enforcement Matches That Of Oconee County

No Audits

The city of Watkinsville joins Oconee County in taking a lenient approach to enforcement of a key provision of its beer and wine ordinance.

License holders are required to document that they earn no more than 25 percent of their revenue from beer and wine, but, in the renewal applications for this year, only three of the four license holders provided information on food and beer and wine sales.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Enters Into Agreement For Assistance In Study of Prezoning

CVIOG Gets Contract

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority voted Monday to spend up to $8,000 for consulting services as it moves forward with its study of prezoning properties the county thinks should be designated for development.

The Authority accepted the recommendation of its Product Development Committee that it enter into an agreement with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG) at the University of Georgia for the consulting services.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Third Quarter SPLOST Revenue Grows Only Slightly As Oconee County Begins Voting On New SPLOST Referendum

Neighboring Counties Do Better

Oconee County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue increased by less than a percentage point in the third quarter of 2014, while neighboring Clarke and Barrow counties experienced strong growth.

The third quarter report included only about six weeks in which electronics retailer Best Buy was operating in the county, since tax distributions are a month delayed. But other major retailers in Epps Bridge Centre have been operating for nearly a year.

Requests For Open Records Filed In Oconee County Deal With Horses, Dogs, Births, Deaths And Cell Towers

Snapshot Reveals Variety

Three people wanted to know about complaints filed with Animal Control.

Seven wanted information from Code Enforcement.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

BOE Member Thomas Appointed By Oconee County Commissioners To Industrial Development Authority

Two Votes Needed

Mark Thomas, a businessman and member of the Oconee County Board of Education, got a slot on the county’s Industrial Development Authority tonight, but only after two rounds of balloting by the Board of Commissioners.

In the end, BOC Chairman Melvin Davis broke the deadlock, casting his support for long-time IDA member Larry Benson, owner of Benson Bakery in Bogart, at the expense of Robin Chasman, a realtor and Tanglebrook subdivision neighbor of Benson.