A rezoning of 27 acres at the corner of Poplar Road and Yeager Road for commercial development was approved by the Coweta County Commissioners, with two speakers in opposition.
The site is adjacent to the massive Poplar Preserve, a high-density subdivision being developed under the old “New Community” zoning district, which allows densities of up to five units per acre.
The property is owned by Duke and Lynn Blackburn, who had also owned the Poplar Preserve property before selling it to a developer.
“We’re not speculators or developers,” Blackburn told the commissioners. He told the commissioners that he plans to own most of the commercial buildings.
The parcel is heavily wooded, and Blackburn said it will remain so. “These buildings are going to be strategically placed inside that wooded area. The only thing that is going to have to be disturbed is the footprint for the building, parking, and drives.”
He said the only parcel that might be sold is the one for a “country store.” In addition to the country store, the site plan shows a small retail space, a daycare, a medical building and an office park.
Leslie Yeager told the commissioners she didn’t expect to be back so soon, after the approval of the Poplar Preserve development.
“The residents in this area didn’t want the big development we are getting right now,” she said. Yeager said that the response from the county and everyone she talked to was that their hands were basically tied because the land had been zoned New Community back in the 1970s.
“You said you couldn’t do anything about it,” she said. “This rezoning is different. It is in your hands. You can vote the way the residents want you to.”
In the presentation on the development, attorney George Rosenzweig spoke of the convenience of having the offices and daycare close to residents.
“I do not want a daycare on my road. I do not need a convenience store, retail and five office buildings that are going to bring random people in and out every day,” she said. “There’s a new RaceTrac two minutes up the road and Kroger and Publix if you need a store.”
“And people don’t need to come to Yeager Road for their medical needs as there is the hospital and medical offices just up the road,” she added.
“You can literally drive up the road and within a few miles have whatever store you need at your fingertips,” she said. “I’m asking you to support the residents that live on Yeager and Sam who do not want this.”
There was significant discussion among the commissioners and staff about the Quality Development Corridor. The QDC has extra requirements for building materials, design, landscaping and the like.
The site isn’t in the QDC, but Rosenzweig said they would be using quality materials. The proposed country store design shows a lot of wood timber construction, which doesn’t meet the QDC requirements.
DeAna Turchiano also spoke in opposition to the rezoning. She and her neighbors can get to existing retail without any problem. And she said neither she nor her neighbors “see the need for any more local retail.”
Commissioner Tim Lassetter made a motion to approve the rezoning with the added condition that the first 1,000 feet off Poplar meet QDC regulations. The vote was 4-0 with Commissioner Bob Blackburn, brother of Duke Blackburn, abstaining.