CANTON — After denial from City Council on the rezoning of 26 acres of land off of Bells Ferry Road, Michael Ellis, representing Mountain Reserve, LLC, was denied for a second time after going before the Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday in hopes of getting a variance allowing him to build 42 homes.
Ellis explained at the Feb. 7 meeting of the City Council that the land was annexed into the city in 2005 and Mountain Reserve started plans for the subdivision in spring 2018. The company then changed the plans to adhere to the city’s stream buffer requirements. Those changes required them to move the planned development up a hill and rezone only a portion of the property.
Neighbor Holly Ricketts spoke in opposition with her main concern being sight distance on the road. The council tabled the decision twice before finally denying the rezoning on March 21. At that meeting a few council members suggested that Ellis go back to his original plan and go before the Board of Zoning Appeals to request a variance from the stream buffer. The current stream buffer in Canton is 75 feet and Ellis was asking for a variance to 25 feet. According to Ellis, without the variance, the land is unable to be developed.
Ricketts approached the podium again at the appeals meeting. This time she asked the board to consider the flooding that occurs in the area as a reason to deny the variance. As a neighbor to the property she said even a light rain can cause major flooding.
Although Ellis assured board members that the flooding would be controlled, the board denied the variance.
The next Canton City Council meeting is 6 p.m., May 16 at City Hall, 110 Academy St.