February 1, 2017

Oconee County Moves to Slow Growth, Revokes Sewer Permits for Unbuilt Subdivisions

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Photo Credit: Lee Becker

Wayne Hanie speaks to, from left, commissioners John Daniell, Mark Thomas, Chuck Horton, Bubber Wilkes and Mark Saxon.

Oconee County Commissioners voted Tuesday night to refund sewer capacity for four undeveloped subdivisions in the county, significantly reducing the need for increased sewage treatment capacity in the county.

The decision will make those four housing projects—including the massive Parkside and Westland subdivisions—unbuildable as zoned, since they require sewage capacity for the intensive development proposed.

The decision provides some relief to the county school system, which has raised concerns about the increased residential growth on the county schools.

The commission also changed its allocation of sewage capacity to allow a maximum of 30 percent from residential use, rather than the current 40 percent, and eliminated the option that developers with reserved capacity can transfer it to other users.

Even with the freeing up of sewer capacity, Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie recommended that the board move forward with an upgrade to the existing Calls Creek plant on the north side of Watkinsville to 1.5 million gallons per day from the existing .667 million gallons per day.

The board agreed to take action on the request for the $13.5 million expansion at its meeting next week.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.