Source: NorthFulton.com

Alpharetta approves Webb Bridge development
9 homes created issues with Windward neighbors

by Jonathan Copsey

June 11, 2013

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Alpharetta Council unanimously approved a contentious subdivision on Webb bridge Road at its June 10 meeting, after deferring the issue at the May 28 meeting.

Council took issue with several aspects of the original development plan, which called for a change in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan to rezone the property from “very low density residential” to “low density residential.” The applicant wanted the change in the CLUP to allow 12 homes rather than the nine that were approved.

Residents of the Windward neighborhoods that abut the property also made their complaints known, primarily dealing with the fear of water runoff. The proposed site sits up a hill from many residents who already deal with extensive water runoff during storms and that water creating silt buildup in Lake Windward.

Council sent the applicant back to the drawing board May 28 to meet with residents and to make the project fit the very low density requirements.

Scott Reese, of Reese and Associates, represented the landowner.

“It is not possible to farm this property, which is currently zoned AG,” he said. “Nor would it be a suitable use for the property. We met with neighbors to compromise where possible.”

At the June 10 meeting, instead of proposing 12 lots on the 6.7 acres, the applicant instead called for nine lots. There were also increased water protections.

“The removal of silt from the lake is a major expense for the Windward HOA,” said Ron Carter, of the Windward HOA Civic Committee. “Any runoff from the construction will be loaded with silt.”

To mitigate this, Reese said he had put up $10,000 in escrow to help dredge the lake and also installed water control measures while construction takes place.

Council member D.C. Aiken said he was unhappy with the way this development was handled.

“This gives me chills of what happened in 2006,” he said. “Developers would come in with a plan that wouldn't fly and use the Planning Commission as a dress rehearsal.”

The issue is that, by the time a proposal comes before City Council, most of the kinks should be ironed out, especially with the neighbors.

“We're getting back into a construction period but developers need to be warned,” he said. “Especially if the proposal does not meet the land use plan and does not have support of the neighbors.”

In the end all members of council approved the development.

“In the end it was a fairly collaborative effort,” said Council member Mike Kennedy.