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Milton to build 27 homes off Bethany Bend

Residents say 'it's too dense'

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December 23, 2013
MILTON, Ga. — Milton City Council approved in a 5 to 2 vote to rezone a 9-acre agricultural lot on the northeast corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road for the development of 27 single-family homes.

On Dec. 16, the rezoning was approved with the following conditions: no more than 27 total dwelling units at a maximum density of 2.97 units per acre; a minimum heated floor area per unit with a 2,800-square-foot minimum and a 3,000-square-foot average; a minimum side yard setback of 7 feet; and a minimum of seven homes with three-sided brick and 360-degree architecture.

Several Milton and Alpharetta residents told councilmembers the development was too dense and needs to be taken "back to the drawing board."

"This model is a good compromise between developers and citizens with one exception, the density," said Milton resident Laura Rencher. "It's just too much."

Over the years, the council has received applications to transform the agricultural lot into a church, then, senior facility and homes, and now a single-family home subdivision.

The council had to extend the public hearing portion of the meeting to hear all four voices in support and 13 voices in opposition.

Residents said they want to see the land developed, but not if it is going to devalue their homes and the Milton standards.

"It just flies in the face of what I thought was one of the principles for the founding of the city of Milton and part of the justification of not wanting to become just another element of North Fulton County," said Milton resident Roger Cubler. "It seems to me that it's all about the money as opposed to what the city claims is an underlying objective."

Community Development Director Kathleen Field said the developer originally wanted 28 units, but was talked down to 27 in order to build the park, buffers and fencing requested in earlier meetings.

"What people are looking for is 2,800- to 3,200-square-foot really nice houses and as little lawn as they have to contend with," said Don Rolader, representative of the applicant. "It's what you put on the ground than how far away they are from each other that is important to this market."

Councilmember Bill Lusk motioned to approve the homes, and Councilmember Matt Kunz seconded it.

Councilmember Rick Mohrig and Councilmember Burt Hewitt were opposed.

"Four or five years ago, we passed a sewer map, and this lot wasn't included on it," Hewitt said. "I supported that map in the past, and when there have been others that have come forward, I haven't supported those.

"For that reason, I won't support this one either, and I do think it's a little too dense," he said.

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  1. report print email
    Developers don't know what people want
    December 23, 2013 | 11:26 PM

    WRONG. I want a house that is NOT on top of my neighbors. If I wanted a "little lawn to contend with" then I would have already bought a house in any new neighborhood in North Fulton.

  2. report print email
    Preserve Rural Milton
    December 27, 2013 | 09:46 AM

    The discouraging thing about this article and the dialogue on all development in Milton, is that this focus is not on preserving the rural character. Despite the density, this development has large buffers, 75 FOOT, between the homes and the property lines. It has a large green space in the forefront of what is seen from the road. This is much superior to any of the prior options and superior to what would have happened if this has been left Ag-1 zoned. Wake up people, the density issues are secondary to the rural view and land preservation. In contrast to developments in other parts of N. Fulton, this development leaves large portions of the plat, undeveloped. this means those people living in the homes only have small lawns to take care of but can enjoy and share the woods and naturalized areas.

    Laura Rencher
  3. report print email
    January 03, 2014 | 12:28 PM

    Has the City of Milton ever consulted with the Superintendent of Schools? Where will the children that come along with all of these homes fit into our schools? We just finished a redistricting nightmare....and another middle school was voted down. How many trailers can our schools fit on their property? The quality of our children's education will continue to suffer if the density is not controlled.

    Milton resident
  4. report print email
    Re: schools?
    January 06, 2014 | 10:41 AM

    Fulton County was consulted on the very dense subdivision (Glenhaven) currently under construction on Hopewell just north of Vaughan and said Cogburn Woods Elementary and Hopewell Middle Schools could *not* handle the influx of potential new students. Yet the petition was approved anyway by the City Council. This new one on Bethany Bend will be zoned for the same schools I'm guessing, and probably were told the same thing.

    Milton residents--we need to speak out by voting out this bunch of idiots on the council and the mayor for breaking their promises about smart growth. These 2 recent developments show they are in the pockets of developers and are only in it for the tax revenues.

    An angry Milton resident
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