The Newnan Times-Herald


Sewage, traffic among issues for proposed Senoia subdivision

  • By Sarah Fay Campbell
  • |
  • Oct. 14, 2017 - 5:35 PM

Sewage, traffic among issues for proposed Senoia subdivision

The Newnan Times-Herald

The Senoia City Council will consider approval of the conceptual plat for the 356-unit subdivision at Monday’s council meeting. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is to be held in the municipal court room at 505 Howard Road.

If approved, Keg Creek Landing would be Senoia’s second-largest residential development. The largest, Heritage Pointe on Rockaway Road, will ultimately have over 600 homes.

The current plan for the Keg Creek Landing subdivision in Senoia is the result of collaboration between the developer, Brent Holdings, and city officials.

When the developer first approached the city about a residential development on the 192.6 acres along Seavy Street and Ga. Hwy. 85, it was with plans for 395 lots, said Senoia Councilman Jeff Fisher, who is poised to become the city’s new mayor in 2018.

That would have been equal to 1.72 units per acre – a significant density bonus compared to the standard of 0.9 units per acre in the city’s R-40 conservation subdivision zoning district.

And that was “entirely too large,” Fisher said.

Senoia’s planning commission voted unanimously against the plan, and Fisher said the council suggested that the developers make some changes. The property is owned by the Cleveland estate.

Across Seavy from the Cleveland property is a 25-acre tract owned by Bray Properties. A proposed subdivision on that land was also rejected by the planning commission. Those two tracts of land have now been merged into one development.

During public meetings on the city’s comprehensive plan, a need for housing targeted to senior citizens was identified. Fisher said city officials suggested the developers include some senior housing in the development.

Pod A on the conceptual plan shows 106 homes on small lots. The homes won’t be true senior living with handicapped access, Fisher said, and won’t be deed-restricted for those over 55, but are intended to appeal to retirees.

There is also a large tract of land on Hwy. 85 that is also owned by the Cleveland estate. City officials asked the developer about giving some of that property to the city as a possible site for the future sewer plant, Fisher said. A 29-acre tract is now proposed to be donated to the city.

The city’s engineering firm, Turnipseed Engineering, took a look at the site to see if it would be feasible.

It’s feasible, but not ideal.

The tract doesn’t border on Keg Creek, where the treated wastewater would be discharged, and the topography is such that a lift station would be needed, according to Fisher. Turnipseed Engineering is looking at several potential sites.

Fisher said the engineers said the best place for the sewer plant would be just downstream from the water plant and Hutchinson Lake.

If the city can get a better site, the future of the 29-acre tract will be figured out later, he said. “It’s currently only of value to us should we fail to get a primary spot. We would much prefer to go elsewhere,” he said. “But at least we know that we would have a place.”

The 29-acre tract has a value of approximately $600,000, Fisher said.

At the Oct. 2 council meeting, the city council approved a contract with Turnipseed for engineering services related to the future sewer plant – from identifying a site to construction management.

The city has received a permit from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to discharge 2 million gallons of treated wastewater into Keg Creek. The city’s current sewer treatment plant, which uses a land application system instead of stream discharge, can handle up to 500,000 gallons.

The city will first build a plant with a capacity of 1 million gallons, which would be designed to be easily upgraded in the future, according to the contract.

The sewer system will be a regional system that can serve customers outside the city of Senoia, Fisher said. Turin and Sharpsburg are interested in possibly tapping into the sewer in the future, he said.

In exchange for the donation of 29 acres of the property on Hwy. 85, and improvements to the intersection of Seavy Street and Hwy. 85, the developers are seeking a density bonus that will allow for 133 homes over and above the 223 lots that would normally be allowed based on the total acreage.

The city’s zoning ordinance allows for density bonuses if developers “contribute to elements specifically mentioned as goals and objectives” in the city’s comprehensive plan, including but not limited to street connectivity and greenways.

There is no set formula for determining how much of a density bonus a developer gets for particular improvements. The ordinance states that density bonuses are subject to the approval of the mayor and council.

Fischer said that if the council votes to approve the conceptual plat, he would like to see that approval be contingent on the results of a traffic study.

If the traffic study says the city’s infrastructure can’t handle the development, things will have to be reconsidered. If the study recommends certain improvements be done to support the development, those would be the responsibility of the developer, Fisher said.

Though the Keg Creek Landing development fronts on Seavy Street, Pod A and nearly all of Pod B are behind homes on Johnson Street and Horseshoe Bend.

Johnson Street resident Paula Campbell is concerned about the large number of homes being proposed. She likes the idea of the senior housing, and she doesn’t have a problem with homes being built on the property – but 356 is too many.

“I just think it is too much right here in our historic downtown area,” she said.

In addition to the conceptual plat for Keg Creek Landing, the council will also hold several public hearings Monday. The first hearing will be on the proposed 2018 budget. There will also be public hearings on proposed changes to the city’s sign ordinance and animal control ordinance and a change allowing administrative variances.