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Newnan Planning Commission says no to Green Top development

  • By Joe Adgie
  • |
  • Aug. 11, 2022 - 4:49 PM

The Newnan Planning Commission has recommended the Newnan City Council deny a proposed annexation on Green Top Road.

The commission unanimously voted to recommend denial to the annexation and rezoning of around 163.61 acres of land on Green Top Road. The purpose of the annexation and rezoning is to construct a large planned residential development with 366 lots.

According to documents from the proposal presented to the Newnan City Council, the potential development would contain 366 lots for single-family homes, open space, a density of 2.23 units per acre, a minimum lot size of 8,200 square feet and an average lot size of 10,500 square feet.

Amenities proposed for the development also include a pool, clubhouse, a pickleball complex and walking trails, which means that the density could be tighter than 2.23 units per acre.

In a traffic study included in agenda items, it was forecast that the project, if built out, would produce a total of 3,430 additional daily trips – 1,715 going into the development and 1,715 going out.

At the peak hour in the morning, it would produce 265 additional daily trips – 66 going in and 199 going out – and in the evening, it would produce 353 daily trips, with 222 going in and 131 going out.

The development is wildly unpopular with nearby residents, who packed the Richard A. Bolin Council Chambers of Newnan City Hall on Tuesday night to express their displeasure with the proposed annexation.

The denial from the Newnan Planning Commission, however, is not the end of the road for the proposed Green Top annexation. The Newnan Planning Commission makes recommendations to the Newnan City Council, and does not make final decisions concerning rezonings or annexations.

The item will still be heard before the Newnan City Council at a future meeting, provided that a legal motion from the Coweta County government does not put a halt to the annexation process.

Legal action does not stop motion at Tuesday’s meeting

On Monday, the Coweta County government filed a motion requesting an injunction against the city of Newnan to stop the annexation process for the Green Top development.

In the legal action, the county argued that their objection to the proposed annexation was not properly heard by an arbitration panel, and as a result, the city is not within their rights to proceed with the process.

The objection, filed by Coweta County at their meeting in early June, would have, ideally, required the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to seat an arbitration panel to determine how to move forward.

However, due to an issue with the U.S. Postal Service, the DCA was unable to verify that the objection had been properly communicated, and as a result, the DCA declined to seat an arbitration panel.

As a result, the city decided to allow the process to resume.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, city attorney Bradford Sears explained that since Tuesday’s meeting involved a recommendation and not a final decision, the item could still be heard.

There was very little mention of the legal action that had been taken at Tuesday’s meeting, although resident Frankie Hardin, who was one of many who spoke against the Green Top proposal, asked why no one had discussed the legal action filed by Coweta County.

Proposal wildly unpopular among Coweta residents

The council chambers on Tuesday were packed with nearby residents, the vast majority there to oppose the Green Top project. Speakers used up their entire 15 minutes allotted, and then some, to address their opposition to the project.

By comparison, no one, aside from representatives from Pulte Homes and attorney George Rosenzweig, spoke in favor of the project.

“I don’t even know why I’m here,” said nearby resident John Moody, who was visibly frustrated during his speech. “I was at the meeting with the Board of Commissioners in June when they voted this down. This is a disingenuous proposal. The city gets everything they want out of this. Many members of the city government work in the real estate business, and they get the tax revenue.”

Moody argued that the reason people wanted to move to Coweta County was because they didn’t want to move to the north side of Atlanta, which has been more heavily built up over the years than the relatively-rural Coweta County.

Moody also argued that the development would worsen a traffic bottleneck in the county, saying that at the wrong times, it takes him 25 minutes to get to Bullsboro Drive from Herring Road.

Richard Yancey, who also lives in the vicinity of the proposed subdivision, also expressed concern about the traffic impacts that the neighborhood could cause.

“Nobody wants this annexation except for the developers and the landowners,” Yancey said. “Our quality of life will be diminished. We love Newnan, but please don’t annex this development. You’re opening Pandora’s Box. The current infrastructure can not handle annexation. It’s not fair to people and it’s not safe.”

Yancey said that while supporting documents claim that the new neighborhood will produce 3,500 new trips per day, that actual number should be closer to 5,000 “on the small two-lane Green Top Road” as another neighborhood, he claimed, was waiting in the wings.

He also argued that the added traffic, along with the built-out neighborhood, will make first responders less effective to deal with emergencies.

Hardin, meanwhile, asked if she would get to bill someone for her “doubled commute on Green Top Road.”

“Tell me where to send my bill,” Hardin said.