Rick Caffery 0

Stop The Oconee Crossing Rezone

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Dear Oconee County Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners, we, the residents of Oconee Crossing and other nearby potentially affected communities ask that after considerable thought and deliberation, you deny the re-zone request from B-1 to B-2 by property owner Donald Hammett.

We reviewed a detailed map and met with Mr. Hammett's representatives and we strongly oppose these plans. If you, our elected county commissioners, approve this re-zone request, you would be approving a massive development that would sit adjacent to our neighborhood. In fact, several of our neighbors' homes would have their property lines bordering the proposed development. The BOC has already approved a senior living development across from Prince Ave church/school that will be anchored by a full-sized grocery store. Do we really need TWO large grocery stores within a half mile of each other? We also learned that Publix is reapplying to build a store at Oconee Connector. This means Oconee County could potentially have THREE new grocery stores within just a few miles of each other. That's not balanced growth. That's Gwinnett style growth.

The rezone application that will be brought before you calls for a car wash that would sit next to Stripling's General Store and then three adjacent fast food drive-thru restaurants, followed by a large grocery store and another large store that appears to be a feed store. This proposal would create significant problems for our neighborhood and negatively impact our quality of life. Here is a partial list of some of the negative issues we would be faced with should you approve this request.

1. Sharp increase in traffic.

2. Increase in crime.

3. Noise pollution (from increased traffic, 18 wheeler delivery trucks, garbage collection dumpsters and from the carwash bleeding into our quiet neighborhood).

4. The potential for contamination of our county provided well pump which sits at the entrance to our neighborhood and would border the proposed rezone request and could potentially impact our drinking water.

5. Odors emitting from the cooking grease and trash disposal at the fast food drive-thru restaurants.

6. An increase in dust, pollution and flooding due to excessive water run-off.

7. Negative impact on our natural surroundings, which includes forest, bamboo and a creek that runs through our neighborhood and through the property in question.

8. Creating more accidents at the intersection of Hwy 53 and Hwy 78, which is already extremely busy and has had many accidents. Building this massive commercial development would make the problem much worse.

9. The development includes retention ponds which will increase the mosquito and cockroach population in our neighborhood.

10. Our neighborhood and surrounding county residents would have to endure a two-year period of daily construction, noise, odors, tree cutting, construction, traffic interference, delivery trucks, 18 wheelers, run off, etc. that would all combine to degrade our quality of life.

We realize the decision before you is difficult and nuanced. But you have all gone on record saying that you want to balance the growth needs of our county with the desire to retain the small town charm that so many of us love about Oconee County. Please deny this rezone request with that spirit in mind.

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