Floyd County

The Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval Thursday of multi-family zoning for part of a vacant tract next to the facility on U.S. 27 South across from Georgia Highlands College. Plans call for 17 independent-living duplexes backing on Welcome Hill Trail.

Project manager Ron Hatcher said the units would be 1,350 square feet "with a couple of bedrooms" and access to the amenities — meals, medical services, activities — at the Renaissance Marquis.

"We already have assisted living and memory care. This is the step before," Hatcher told the planning commission.

About two acres of the parcel fronting on U.S. 27 would be reserved for potential commercial development. However, Chuck Hardin of Southern Engineering & Surveying Inc., said, "if this development takes off," they may opt to use the property for more duplexes instead.

The County Commission is scheduled to rule on the rezoning request following a public hearing at its Aug. 28 meeting.

Commissioners also will decide on a special use permit sought by Angela Cargle for a wedding venue on 19.4 acres at 135 Bethel Church Road in Silver Creek.

Cargle said it's family property — where her father was born, lived and died — and they want to restore it as thriving acreage. She and her siblings have children of marriageable age, she added.

"We thought it'd be cool to use it for family and friends, but then we wondered 'what if it gets bigger than we intend?' We want to do it right," Cargle said.

Few changes are planned, other than construction of four bathrooms at the 72-foot by 42-foot open-air pavilion and a prep kitchen for use by caterers. There's already a former horse barn for indoor ceremonies or corporate sales meetings, she said, and a fireplace on a concrete pad. The family also plans to revive their father's beehives and vineyards.

Planning Commission member Charles Love questioned how the facility would fit with an update in the works to regulate special events venues in the county.

"It's very close," Planning Director Artagus Newell said.

Parameters under discussion include a minimum of 20 acres, an entrance road that can safely support the increased traffic and adequate space between the buildings and nearby neighbors.

Cargle said the size of the events would be limited to about 100 or 150 people.

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