The city of Newnan has approved an annexation of property on Parks Road that was opposed by Coweta County.
In June, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners voted to object to the annexation request by Linchwood LLC for 66 acres on Parks Road. It was the first time that the county had objected to an annexation since the state law regarding annexation was changed in 2007.
The subdivision is proposed to have 106 units.
Because of the traffic impact on the intersections of Parks and Poplar roads and Parks and Lower Fayetteville roads, the county had asked that the city or the developer contribute $528,000 to intersection improvements. That’s 16 percent of the total intersection improvement cost of around $3 million. The county later lowered that request to $352,000 and then $300,000.
A letter from Coweta County Administrator Michael Fouts to the Newnan Planning Commission asks that the council require the developer to pay $300,000 toward the construction of the intersection improvements. Otherwise, “the city places the financial burden of these improvements on all Coweta citizens. The Board of Commissioners strongly objects to a developer benefiting at the expense of the citizens and asks the city to require the applicant to pay its fair share as outlined above or deny the petition.”
The planning commission considered the project in April and members split 3-to-3 on whether or not to recommend that the city move forward with the annexation.
Under state law, an arbitration panel is appointed to hear objections. Because the county, city and developer decided to discuss the issue to try and come to a compromise, the appointment of an annexation panel was delayed. When the county did ask for one, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs refused, saying that the deadline had passed.
Attorney Melissa Griffis, representing the developers, told the Newnan City Council that the developers are willing to contribute $60,000 toward infrastructure costs. The city will be requiring the developers to build right turn lanes in both directions at the entrances to the development, “at a minimum,” said Planning Director Tracey Dunnavant.
Griffis said that there have been many development requests that have come before the city in the past year or two that weren’t single family homes.
“This is single family homes, this is ownership, and it is in the city of Newnan,” she said.
Two residents who live nearby in the county spoke in opposition to the project, expressing concerns about traffic and impact to wetlands. They also expressed disbelief that the homes would sell at the $300,000 to $500,000 range the developers reported.
Dunnavant told the council that construction of the subdivision won’t begin until fall 2021, and build-out is expected in fall 2023.
Coweta County is moving forward with a roundabout at the intersection of Parks and Poplar roads, and it’s expected to open in fall of 2022, Dunnavant said.
Traffic engineer Vern Wilburn did a traffic study and said the majority of the additional traffic would be right turns from Parks onto Poplar or Lower Fayetteville. When he analyzed the traffic impact, he said he considered that both of the intersections would be roundabouts, and the traffic from the new subdivision would only increase traffic by less than 2 percent, so the $60,000 is 2 percent of the cost of the roundabouts.
Councilman Dustin Koritko asked if the development could have covenants that would limit it to no more than 12 percent rental units.
Councilman Paul Guillame made a motion to approve the annexation with the requirement that the developer pay the $60,000 for intersection improvement, the city’s requirement for the turn lanes and the limit on rentals. The motion passed with no opposition.