New Ga. 9 neighborhood approved

47 new townhomes close to downtown

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The Alpharetta City Council approved the development of 47 townhomes on Ga.9 at Winthrope Park Drive.

The townhomes are to be built on a 6-acre tract of land that was previously zoned for commercial development.

The neighborhood would be accessed only through Winthrope Park Drive, with no access from Ga. 9.

It would be bordered on two sides by Winthrope, which Kathi Cook, ALpharetta Deputy Community Development Director, said was why the city was considering changing the zoning in the comprehensive plan.

If the property were to develop commercially, it could be used for restaurant, retail or automotive uses, Cook said and have up to 40,000 square feet of space.

“We are of the opinion the change would be consistent with existing development and would provide a transition of the area,” Cook said. “It is within a mile of downtown and also adjacent to a residential area on two sides. It’s a little bit different from other similar properties zoned commercial along Main Street.”

Developer Jeff Andres of Lakeshore Engineering agreed.

“I don’t think you could create a high performing retail center here,” said Andres. “Between Windward Parkway, Avalon and downtown, a small retail center of 40,000 square feet I don’t see as being viable.”

Such a development is much higher density than the Winthrope neighborhood, however city staff approved this as a “transition” from the neighborhoods along Main Street and the higher density commercial areas of Windward Parkway. Just to the north of the neighborhood is an auto rental business.

Neighbors and council voiced concerns about traffic on Winthrope Park Drive and requested an additional access into the neighborhood via Ga. 9.

Eric Graves, an engineer with Alpharetta, said another cut into Ga. 9 would be impractical, being so close to the Winthrope Park Drive. Also, the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning an expansion of the section of Ga. 9 in front of Winthrope Park Drive with the addition of a center turn lane in place of the gore that is currently there.

The new neighborhood was approved by all on council except for Councilmember Jim Gilvin.

“Whenever we have a change of land use plans, a couple questions come to mind,” Gilvin said. “There is very little greenspace for 47 townhomes and what greenspace there is, is in the backyard of five homes. I’m not sure they will retain their value.”

The neighborhood passed 6-1.

Consideration of a request to rezone approximately 0.7 acres from SU/O-P to R8A in order to develop six for-sale condominium units on Arklow Drive and Marstow Drive.

VOTE: UNANIMOUS (Cross absent)

Consideration of a request to rezone 6 acres from C-2 to R8A in order to develop 47 townhomes at the corner of Ga. 9 and Winthrope Park Drive.

VOTE: 6-1, GILVIN OPPOSED. (Cross included)

Consideration of an amendment to the Unified Development Code in order to permit special event facilities (amphitheaters) to hold events up to 30 days without obtaining City Council approval. Second reading.

VOTE: UNANIMOUS

Adoption of Bike Path Loop Plan.

VOTE: UNANIMOUS

RN 05-01-14