JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Johns Creek City Council unanimously approved one subdivision on Abbotts Bridge Road at its June 17 meeting, but sent another application on Findley Road back to the Planning Commission.
A 12-home subdivision on 3.2 acres at the 5200-5300 block of Abbotts Bridge at Byers Road was approved under TR conditional zoning for detached homes at a density of 3.75 units per acre. Applicant Mike Smith said the request for zoning was made under TR (Townhouse Residential) despite being detached homes because that was the way the detached homes next door were zoned, and he wanted to be as consistent with neighboring properties as possible.
The density is commensurate with surrounding homes and the only real issue for the City Council was the exterior landscaping and the exterior materials for the homes.
Councilman Ivan Figueroa wanted to be sure the neighbors would be well screened from the backs of the subdivision homes since all of the houses will face inward on the property.
Smith, as agent for developer Warren Jolly, said the project will be upscale and his concern was that the landscaping would also be decorative. Buffering landscaping emphasizes screening. He asked for some combination of both.
Council agreed to leave it to the city planning director to approve the landscape plan that is submitted.
Smith also asked that there be some leeway on building materials. He argued that three-sided brick or four-sided would limit the design of the neighborhood and give the small subdivision an architectural sameness. He said the project will use the same materials and designs that Jolly will use for the recently approved gated community on Bell Road.
Council again agreed to this with the planning director as arbiter of what would be acceptable.
A rezoning request at the 11500 block on Findley Road for a four-unit subdivision on 2.76 acres was sent back to the Planning Commission for a rehearing in August.
Some of the councilmembers said the project was out of place on a collector road like Findley. The four homes would share a common driveway, but it would enter Findley in the middle of a curve.
The site was formerly part of a parcel that contained a single-family home that had burned.
Another concern was change to the drainage plan, which would have the homes share a common cistern. Councilman Randall Johnson said the plan was not the same as that passed by the Planning Commission.
Figueroa agreed and he moved to deny the petition. However that would have meant the applicant could not bring a new plan before the city for 12 months. The motion failed in a 3-3 vote with Councilmembers Karen Richardson and Bev Miller and Mayor Mike Bodker voting against it. Councilwoman Kathy Stewart was on vacation.
Richardson's alternative motion to reduce the number of houses from four to two also failed. Bodker suggested they remand the plan back to the Planning Commission. That would allow the commissioners to reconsider the changes – albeit rather minor – and would not deprive the property owner of use of the land for a year. That motion passed 6-0.
The plan will come before the Planning Commission in August.