Three new residential developments were approved by the Newnan City Council on Tuesday evening – two of which required annexation of land into the city limits.
The council approved the annexation of 74 acres on the Hwy. 34 Bypass, near Hospital Road, and confirmed the previous vote to annex land on Lora Smith Road into the city.
The 74.596 acres located at 120 Whitlock Road are now zoned RU-7.
Developers are hoping to build a 199-lot subdivision on the property that would be accessed by a roundabout entrance on the Hwy. 34 Bypass. An emergency exit would allow access to Young Avenue toward the rear of the subdivision.
Applicants Andrew Whitlock, Paul Whitlock Jr. and Rebecca Lou Jones stated that 109 lots would be marketed to seniors while 90 lots will be marketed as a traditional subdivision.
The senior portion will have a maintenance association, according to Planning and Zoning Director Tracy Dunnavant. Homes would range in size from 1,600 square feet to 2,600 square feet.
Dunnavant said if the land remained in the unincorporated county, the applicant could currently build 46 homes versus the 199 the applicant is proposing.
"The proposed use of the property as a residential subdivision is an acceptable designation given the surrounding zonings and uses of the neighboring properties,” she said. “However, because of the difference in allowable lot sizes, the county has asked that buffers be applied to the development where it abuts county-zoned land."
If approved, the subject property would be denser than adjacent county-zoned properties; however, it would still be a single-family development, Dunnavant said.
During their May 9 meeting, Coweta County commissioners considered the request and voted not to object.
Dunnavant said the biggest impact would be traffic and density, but indicated service providers would be able to handle the needs of the development.
“The development will add roughly 1,894 additional weekday trips, 1,972 trips on Saturday, and an additional 1,715 on Sunday,” she said. "There will be additional traffic, but since the development is located on a four-lane state highway with a traffic signal, the impact will be minimal.”
Jeff Morgan, a resident of Roscoe Road, said he was not necessarily opposed to the project, but was concerned about the density.
“These are nice-looking homes, but they're kinda small - 2.6 homes per acre,” he said. “If there are three cars with one home, where would they park? In the street or in the yard? Things like that can drop property values. Please give it a little consideration.”
The other major development is an apartment complex on Jefferson Street.
Christopher Byrd, on behalf of LDG Development LLC, spoke to the council regarding a change the zoning conditions on the 20-acre tract, 414 Jefferson Street.
Approval would allow the development of 160 affordable apartments on a property zoned Residential Multi-Family Dwelling - Lower Density (RML) which is limited to a 74-unit townhouse development with a density of 3.6 units per acre.
According to Dunnavant, the land was rezoned in 2006 for multi-family townhomes, but when a flood plain was identified, the original concept plan was no longer able to be developed.
“We feel that an apartment complex on the site would be an acceptable use of the property and it would serve as a transitional use between the industrial business to the west and the residential subdivision to the east,” Dunnavant said. "In addition, there is a large amount of floodplain and a creek that will serve as additional buffer between the apartments and the existing homes.”
The amenities package would include a clubhouse, pool, business center, fitness center, gate and fence for secure access and a fully equipped walking path. The developer would also be responsible for installing one new eastbound left-turn lane, one new westbound right-turn deceleration lane, and one full-movement driveway.
Byrd told the council that his company considers itself to be a long-term investor in the community and would retain ownership of the property for 15 years.
"We’re not the developer that comes in, drops it, sucks out revenue and then we’re gone,” Byrd said. “We’re investing in the long-term success of the community.”
Mayor Keith Brady expressed his support for the venture, but was curious if the current plans were somehow changed due to constraints, would that force the developer to cut amenities for the sake of occupancy.
“Several years ago, we approved an apartment complex who promised amenity centers and pools, but when they found out they couldn’t do it, they asked for a variance through another body and it was granted, which allowed them to gut their amenities,” Brady said.
“That was less than what we thought we approved, but the property was zoned and they were entitled. I don’t want to see that happen again.”
Byrd said he didn’t anticipate that happening.
"We want to be competitive in the market, and our intent is never to lose amenities first,” he said. "We want to be competitive while keeping our buildings financially feasible."
The recommendation from planning commission was unanimously accepted along with amending the zoning map for the property.
The council also unanimously voted on the annexation of “Dapper’s Landing,” a proposed subdivision located at the corner of Lora Smith Road and Lower Fayetteville Road.
It was given a unanimous vote for annexation by the council who originally heard the proposal back in June, but with Mayor Pro-Tem Cynthia Jenkins absent from the previous meeting, it required another unanimous vote with all council members in attendance.
Clay Neely: firstname.lastname@example.org, @clayneely