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July 29, 2014
ALPHARETTA, Ga. The corner of Mayfield Road and Canton Street in Alpharetta will soon get a lot busier, as 19 new homes are planned to go in on the 2.3 acres.

Sitting on a wooded site with a creek running along one side, a home dating to the early 1900s will be saved from demolition and incorporated into the construction, with the new townhomes being built around it.

The new homes and the plan take into account architectural elements from the home to create a single theme. Renowned Roswell-based planner Lew Oliver gave input on the plan. He was integral to such preservation efforts as Milton's Crabapple district and Roswell's historic districts.

Robert Forrest, the developer of Stonewalk Mayfield Corners, as the development is called, said the proposal was agreed to by staff and neighbors.

"A lot of what you see here is feedback from staff and the public," Forrest said. "It's been a fun process to get something that looks really, really good. I think it will be a beautiful entrance into the downtown area of the city."

Key to this was preservation of the historic home on the site.

Beyond that, a small park will be on the corner along with 8-foot-wide brick sidewalks along both sides of the site. This will form the northern edge of the city's historic district.

And that's just what the City Council wanted. At their July 28 meeting, they unanimously approved the development in a 4-0 vote. (Mayor David Belle Isle recused himself and two other councilmembers were absent.)

"This is one of the most significant things we have done," said Councilman Donald Mitchell. "It's important for our historic preservation. We need to do more of that. And this also works with being art and environmentally friendly. This is one of the best things I have done since I have been on council."

Also at the meeting

Council dealt with a series of signage issues cropping up from the Avalon development. The city's sign ordinance is quite strict on what is and is not allowed, and council has to approve any deviations from that ordinance.

However, because Avalon is both a mall and a wholly private entity including the streets the city is more lenient in allowing signage that only can be seen from within the development.

Regal Cinemas and Crate and Barrel both requested additional signage to their stores, which council approved with little hesitation. A third sign for Whole Foods was denied.

This sign, to be placed on an interior archway linking the anchor store to the main street, was an issue, they said, because Whole Foods did not ask for it it was a suggestion from Avalon developer North American Properties.

"I'm sure the people who live [in Avalon] will know there is a Whole Foods there," said Councilman D.C. Aiken. "If you are not living there, you know it's there when you drive in. Give me a reason why I should make this variance."

Councilman Mike Kennedy said he saw no reason not to grant the variance.

"It's internal to the development," he said.

The sign failed passing council in a 3-2 vote, with Mayor David Belle Isle and Kennedy in support.

RN-7-30

Editor, Milton Herald
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