The rezoning commission met Monday with area residents in attendance concerned that a rezoning to commercial could result in a convenience store or other developments. No one, however, showed to present their concerns to the commissioner Monday.
The request stems from plans to construct a 156-unit assisted living facility dubbed Cline Park on a 12.46-acre parcel currently zoned light agricultural and light industrial. The zoning commission recommended approval of the request with a condition limiting future projects strictly to assisted living facilities.
Property owner and architect Emile Picard, with the help of Attorney Jeff Watkins, argued for the condition to be removed in the case of unforeseen circumstances limiting their options, including fears that should something happen to Picard, his wife and family would be limited in their abilities to utilize the property.
"It is fully our intent to do an assisted living facility here, and Lord willing and the creek don't rise, that's exactly what we're going to do. There are several steps and procedures in order to accomplish that and a lot of funding that we have to put forth," Picard said. "Again, we want to do this assisted living facility, but if something should happen, we don't want to be stuck doing that. We would at least like to be able to do other things that would be allowed in the current zoning or to do residential or some other options."
Watkins also argued that under current zoning, the property could be used for more undesirable development than commercial applications, as approximately one-third of the land is now zoned industrial.
"That kind of condition is really limiting what the property can be if it's not going to be an assisted living facility," Watkins said. "There's a lot of other uses that to me would be a whole lot worse than it being something commercial and having other commercial-type uses."
Picard, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified consultant, plans to provide a facility similar to others he has designed throughout the Southeast. The facility would consist of one- and two-bedroom units, including a wing for patients suffering from dementia. The grounds would boast pathways, a lake, a community garden and a greenhouse.
"This facility will be like no other. [Picard] believes this is the type thing that will be needed in this area, if not already," Watkins said. "This proposed development is something that will be very nice for Bartow County."
Waldrop Assisted Living lies near the proposed site on Burnt Hickory Road.
Also in attendance Wednesday was Gary McCoy, national director of the American Water Works Association, presenting Gene Camp, superintendent of the Bartow County Water and Sewer Department, with the George Warren Fuller Award.
The Fuller Award is a national recognition awarded to those making advancements in the water delivery and water treatment industry.
"We have over 58,000 members, the largest water organization in the world. What we do is try to educate and assist the water industry," McCoy said. "At the annual conference, we have up to 16,000 attendees and being a recipient of this award, as long as Gene attends, he will have a gold ribbon that says the Fuller Award, that's how prestigious this award is. It is given to just one member each year.
"After reading the applications, it was a no-brainer. It was a unanimous decision to award Gene the George Warren Fuller Award."
Other items seen and approved by the commissioner Wednesday were:
* Rezoning of 3.56 acres at Parkerwood Road and U.S. 41 in Adairsville from R-2 to C-1.
* Declaring certain county-owned property surplus and authorizing the sale through govdeals.com Internet auction service.
* Renewing agreement with Community Health Network to deliver and manage the County Employee Health and Wellness Program.
* Re-appointing Bob Poston to the Northwest Regional Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Board.
* Re-appointing Ed Brush, Paul Battles and Eric Strickland to the Development Authority of Bartow County.
* Entering into an agreement with CSX Transportation for improvements to the intersection of Euharlee Road and SR 113.
* Amending Chapter 75 of the Code of Bartow County relating to future water rate increase.