Landscape Lighting Systems
appen grocery
Northside Oral Surgery
appen dec 2010

Alpharetta gives controversial developer go-ahead



Sharp_tom
shadow
(click for larger version)
November 28, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – By the time Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle finally got around to announcing the upcoming tree lighting ceremony Nov. 26, the City Council chambers were nearly empty. Not that the crowd which had previously filled the seats Monday night for nearly four hours was in the holiday spirit.

After several hours of discussion, the Alpharetta City Council gave the green light to developer Tom Sharp to develop 108 homes on a 78-acre parcel in northwest Alpharetta bounded by Mayfield, Bates and Providence roads. The project will be re-zoned from Agricultural to R-15, which allows for up to three homes per acre.

The council, however, put in stipulations that lots would average a minimum of 20,000 square-feet – roughly a half-acre – however green space and non-buildable land could be used in those averages. In addition, lots fronting Bates Road would be required to be three-quarter acre minimums. Stipulations were also added that will govern building materials, landscaping, preservation of an existing lake and other considerations to fit into the character of the surrounding community.

"It is sad to say, but it appears that the City Council is not for the people but is for the developer/builder," said Leslie Dyer, a nearby resident. "The council gave us one bone. The houses on the perimeter of Bates North will be on three-quarter acre. Otherwise, the builder/developer won on the [overall] lots sizes."

The re-zoning to R-15 went against the vote of the city's Planning Commission that had recommended an R-22 zoning across the parcel, which would have kept density at half-acre minimums. While unusual to disregard the Planning Commission recommendation, Councilman Chris Owens maintains the commission's intent was considered.

"The Planning Commission sets a floor for the decision, but it didn't set a minimum lot size," said Owens. "We took everything into consideration."

After two hours of public comment, in which the sole vote in support of the project came from a real estate agent who has sold Sharp Residential homes, the council debated briefly before the motion to allow an R-15 zoning was made by Councilman Mike Kennedy. Councilman Jim Golvin was the lone "no" vote on the council.

Opposition to the project has been strong from the community in recent months, which turned out in force to the public information meeting, the Planning Commission hearing and the City Council meeting to urge the city to demand a lower density to keep the rural area of the community intact.

However, city councilmembers noted that while there are many large, estate home sites in the area, the surrounding area also has a mix of much smaller home sites.

Sharp Residential, an Alpharetta-based builder headed by Tom Sharp, expects to begin construction immediately, with homes starting in the high $400,000s up to $600,000s.

The project is divided into two parcels – the Johnson Tract and the Bates Road Tract. Sharp had originally requested a change in zoning from primarily Agriculture to as low as R-12 (12,000-square-foot lot minimums) for the majority of the subdivision. After meeting strong opposition early in the process, Sharp revised their application to R-15 (15,000 sq. ft. minimum), which dropped the total number of planned homes from 130 to 108.

list visuals View images.
printPrint
emailEmail Link
CommentFeedback
shareShare

Tags: Business News, Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    you get what you voted for
    November 29, 2012 | 07:00 AM

    The voters elected two attorneys tied to developers - the mayor & cross. Owens & Kennedy who want to loosen our wonderful tree ordinance to make developers happy. Mitchell & Aiken who seem to follow the pack. Gilvin seems to be the only one willing to question and dissent. Voting against the Planning Commision recommendations is inexcusable. Wish we could impeach the lot!

    rose milligan
    alpharetta
  2. report print email
    Bates/Mayfield Zoning Application
    November 29, 2012 | 09:53 AM

    To clarify, (1) green space and non-buildable land can't be used in the averages, (2) the average lot size for Bates South and the Johnson tract must be 20,000 square feet or more, (3) the average lot size for properties in Bates North alongside the Oaks and Providence Place must be at least 3/4 acres, and (4) the remaining lots must average 26,000 square feet.

    There are a number of other conditions relating to setbacks and the exterior of rear elevations that were imposed as well that varied from the applicant's request, and the applicant desired more density that the Council approved.

    Though there is disagreement, I feel quite lucky to live in a City where our most fervent argument this month involves how large the lots must be where half million dollar homes are to be constructed. There are very few places in the world that have the blessing of a problem such as this.

    Michael Cross
    Alpharetta
  3. report print email
    Bates/Mayfield Zoning Application
    November 29, 2012 | 09:53 AM

    To clarify, (1) green space and non-buildable land can't be used in the averages, (2) the average lot size for Bates South and the Johnson tract must be 20,000 square feet or more, (3) the average lot size for properties in Bates North alongside the Oaks and Providence Place must be at least 3/4 acres, and (4) the remaining lots must average 26,000 square feet.

    There are a number of other conditions relating to setbacks and the exterior of rear elevations that were imposed as well that varied from the applicant's request, and the applicant desired more density that the Council approved.

    Though there is disagreement, I feel quite lucky to live in a City where our most fervent argument this month involves how large the lots must be where half million dollar homes are to be constructed. There are very few places in the world that have the blessing of a problem such as this.

    Michael Cross
    Alpharetta
  4. report print email
    Bates/Mayfield Zoning Application
    November 29, 2012 | 09:55 AM

    I'm responsible for the prior post.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Cross

    Michael Cross
    Alpharetta
  5. report print email
    Bates/Mayfield Zoning
    December 02, 2012 | 09:08 PM

    I wonder when Alpharetta will decide that enough is enough? What about the additional traffic load on Mayfield? I live on Mayfield Road, and I'm wondering how hard it will become to turn left out of my driveway once this development is completed and filled to capacity. What happened to the "retaining small town feel" that the City claims to support? I think that we need council members who will stand and say "that's enough". Dahlonega developed very strict measures many years ago to protect them from just this sort of issue. As Alpharetta continues to whittle away the small town that I grew up in and replace it with an overpopulated extention of Atlanta, I just shake my head in confusion and dismay. It is obvious that Alpharetta's real concern here is maximizing it's tax base.

    Donna
    Alpharetta
  6. report print email
    Crickets are Chirping
    December 06, 2012 | 11:45 PM

    Rose,
    Voting against the Planning Commission is not inexcusable, but voting against the Planning Commission without explanation is.

    No one on Council has bothered to explain to constituents why they feel their recommendation is superior to the Planning Commission's recommendation.

    No one has bothered to explain why we need to waste time and money on a Planning Commission that is so easily dismissed. A Planning Commission that is appointed by each sitting Council member.

    Why?

    Dismayed
    Alpharetta
  7. report print email
    Same thing happening on Hopewell Rd.
    December 10, 2012 | 12:40 PM

    City Council will be deciding in January whether to rezone a small (less than 8 acre) sliver of land near the corner of Hopewell and Vaughn just over the line into Milton from AG-1 to medium density residential with 29 lots (4 houses per acre). Beazer Homes also wants setbacks cut. We need to have our voices heard so that builders like Beazer and Sharp can't just do as they please with no opposition.

    Milton
    Milton
  8. report print email
    Hopewell Rd. Rezoning
    December 10, 2012 | 02:23 PM

    The Hopewell Road rezoning referred to above is in the city of Milton and will be heard by the Milton City Council.

    Mike Kennedy
    Alpharetta
  9. report print email
    "Alpharetta gives controversial developer the go-ahead"
    December 11, 2012 | 09:08 PM

    Either the title of this article is misleading, or the reporter's article is incomplete. The title refers to the developer as "controversial", yet the article doesn't mention any prior controversy associated with him. Does this developer have a sour reputation gained from some previous activity? Is there reason to doubt he will do a good job on this high-profile project? I'd like to know.

    G. Smith
    Roswell
READER COMMENTS Submission
When posting feedback please be respectful. Be nice. :
* required value
Your Name*

Town*

Email (not shown on website)*

Subject*

Comment*

Verification*
Identify the animal




Coldwell Banker
RECENT CLASSIFIEDS
Full-time

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

September 18, 2014 | 09:17 AM
Duties include;Appointment »
Full-time

Alpharetta Tax Preparer - Full Time Help

September 17, 2014 | 05:06 PM
Local Alpharetta Tax preparer »
Furniture

Breakfast table and chairs

September 15, 2014 | 11:52 AM
Metal frame Glass top breakfast »

Johns Creek Chamber
appen dec 2010 Duplicate