Proposed LocationOf course they have to mention the tax revenues from the resort, like a huge ton of money will somehow make it okay to build a huge resort.  Have they figured out the potential impact on schools?  There’s not a high school near the resort, so they’ll have to go to Alexander.  Then the younger kids will go to Fairplay and South Douglas.  All three of these schools are already overcrowded, and (I think) have trailers.  And they’re building 910 single family homes.  If each person who moves in has two kids, that’s 1,820 kids.  There is no retail to speak of on Capps Ferry, so of course the resort will want to bring in a grocery store, a bank, a gas station, etc so people won’t have to drive to Douglasville.  In addition, they say they don’t plan on widening Capps Ferry, so if they get a lot of traffic, there’s nothing the County will be able to do to ease the traffic flow.

Opposition expected
Presentation on proposed resort is tonight
By Winton Jones
Staff Writer

An Atlanta developer, Merrill Trust Communities and Resorts, LLC, will present its case tonight for building the 1,092-acre Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club on Capps Ferry Road in southeastern Douglas County.

Some Capps Ferry Road residents are expected to attend the joint 6 p.m. Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Board and Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting at Citizens Hall in the county courthouse to register their opposition to the project. The P&Z Board makes recommendations for approval or denial of the requests and the BOC makes the final decision.

Brook Cole, who will be presenting Merrill’s application to the boards tonight, declined to comment Monday when contacted by the Sentinel. He said he would answer any questions after his presentation.

The proposed mixed use development will be located along the Chattahoochee River and will include 910 single family homes, 900 resort units, 600 hotel rooms, 140,000 square feet of retail space, a worship center and a public safety site, according to information filed last fall with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).

The report estimates the total value of the development at $921,633,037 and the expected annual local tax revenue to be $12,243,711.

The build out date for the project is 2020, according to the ARC final Development of Regional Impact (DRI) report, dated Nov. 10, 2008.

The application filed with the Douglas County Planning and Zoning Department indicates the developer is seeking a special use permit for a mixed use master planned development. The department is recommending approval, with conditions.

The ARC’s final report on the project found that it “is in the best interest of the region, and therefore, the state.” However, the report noted that its finding didn’t address whether the project is in the best interest of local government.

However, the ARC did note some concerns, including the effect on road traffic and nearby jurisdictions.

“No transportation projects are currently funded to improve the area roads,” the ARC report concluded.

“Potential additional development, which will be encouraged by the proposed project, will likely result in overburdening the local road network.”

On the project’s effects on local jurisdictions, the ARC report noted, “Comments attached from the city of Chattahoochee Hills Country state that the proposed development is not consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan which calls for the area adjacent to the Chattahoochee River to remain rural and agricultural. The city of Chattahoochee Hill Country also expressed concern over the traffic impacts to the existing transportation network, especially those road and intersections within the city.”

In its promotional literature, the developer pledges to preserve the site’s sensitive natural areas and create “a world-class luxury resort hotel and associated community.”

The land has been used as a private family equestrian estate for many years and was once the site for the National Riding Event Championships. Numerous stables, barns, riding arenas, paddocks, trails, polo fields and utility sheds are still located on the property.

Other agenda items for Tuesday’s P&Z meeting include:

• a request by Blanche Ayers for rezoning from R-LD (low density residential) to C-C (community commercial) for 4.48 acres on South Sweetwater Road to rent for commercial uses such as an antique shop;

• a request by Russell Wallace, LLLP, to remove the zoning conditions on 18.95 acres located at 1356 Trae Lane and the corner of Bob Arnold Boulevard and Linda Lane;

• a request by Rufuge and Salvation Outreach Ministries, Inc. for a special use permit renewal to allow a church in a planned center on 4.71 acres at 2818 Fairburn Road, Suite C;

• and a request by Word Christian Broadcasting, Inc. for a special use permit to allow four AM radio towers on 10.2 acres on McKown Road.

The boards will also hear proposed amendments to the Douglas County Code of Ordinances on the time limits for containers at streetside.