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Alpharetta OKs developer’s request to reduce South Main density

New project plan eliminates apartments



ALPHARETTA, Ga. – After spending nearly four hours last January parsing plans for a 13-acre mixed-use development on South Main Street, the Alpharetta City Council took about a third of the time Monday to approve a revised plan that called for no apartments and less residential density on the site.

Representatives from Perling appeared before the city seeking the revision that allows about twice the retail and office space as before but eliminates the 129 apartments and multi-story parking decks that were part of the original plan approved in January.

Close to 100 residents attended the January meeting. Those opposed to the development said the density, the traffic and the activity would ruin nearby neighborhoods and only add to congestion in the area.

About an equal number spoke in favor of the development saying it would revitalize an area lagging far behind the infusion of redevelopment going on a couple of blocks north in downtown.

Only one resident came to speak Monday. Don Nahser, who owns a home not far from the development at the corner of Main Street and Devore Road, told the City Council he would like assurances that music from the retailers would conform to the city’s code.

Other than this, Nahser said later, he was happy to see the development scaled down.

The new provisions increase the number of for-sale residences from 78 to 138 units and lowers the residential density on the 13 acres from 16 units to 10.3 units. Perling is planning both attached homes and detached homes.

The layout includes a portion of the Alpha Loop system that will surround the downtown.

Councilman Jim Gilvin, the only council member to vote against the proposal last January, was amused.

“It never ceases to amaze me how, six months ago, we had a much larger, more dense application in front of us. And I was disappointed I couldn’t support it because I kept saying we could do something like this [the revised plan] that had owner-occupied residential,” he said.

That earlier application included a statement that denial could potentially violate the developer’s and landowner’s constitutional rights, Gilvin said.

“Now I’m forced with an application that says if I’m not going to allow them to do what I wanted them to do six months ago, now I’m violating their constitutional rights,” he mused.

But Gilvin, who often speaks against high-density housing and apartments, welcomed the change.

“I think this is a great project,” he said. “I think it actually fits in better with the residential across the street.”

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