Proposed Vaughan neighborhood denied

New jail locks approved

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – A proposed townhome development was denied by Alpharetta’s City Council May 28 after councilmembers had questions about the appropriateness of the development.

The proposal called for 40 townhomes to be placed on a partially developed lot off Vaughan Drive on a 4.46-acre plot of land designated by the comprehensive land use plan as commercial. The property is surrounded by single-family homes to the north, a retirement community on one side and commercial property on the other side, along Ga. 9.

The property is owned by the bank after the developer failed to build commercial offices. Woody Galloway, a representative of the bank, told council the market has determined the site is unsuitable for commercial development and the comprehensive land use plan should be changed to residential to allow this fact.

“There is a very different market out there for office condominiums,” said Galloway. “There has been no interest in the property as office. It was marketed for five years as office.”

Some members on council were amenable to the change, but not in the form presented. Because the property would be filled with homes, the applicant was asking to waive a commercial buffer of 50 feet. This would put future commercial buildings in close proximity to the residents, a concept council was not keen on.

“Our comprehensive land use plan was created with a great deal of thought to concentrate high density in certain areas. I don’t think it’s in the best interest to tap away at parcels like this,” said Councilmember Jimmy Gilvin.

“I don’t think [office is] a viable commercial use,” said Councilmember Donald Mitchell. “If we all agree residential is a good purpose there, let’s go ahead with it.”

A motion to approve the homes narrowly failed. Instead, a motion to deny without prejudice passed in a 6-1 vote, with only Mitchell opposed.

ALSO AT THE MEETING:

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – An issue from the previous week was cleared up by Public Safety Director Gary George.

Last week, he had presented a contract with Eo Systems to replace the antiquated door locks at the Fulton County Jail, which Alpharetta owns but the county operates. While Eo had a lower installation bid, the amount for a 10-year maintenance contract far exceeded the next lowest bidder. At the time, George was not able to give a clear answer.

He returned to council May 28 with that answer.

“We do not want the maintenance agreement,” he said.

The numbers in the information provided to council were for the selection committee’s purposes and were not in the final contract. Therefore, Eo is the lowest bidder, at $48,000.

The new locks and security measures were unanimously approved by council.