ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The developers behind Alpharetta’s Tech Village will get another shot to pitch a rezoning request before the City Council, possibly ending months of litigation over an earlier denial.
At its Oct. 21 meeting, the council voted 5-0 to grant TPA Group a hearing in December to apply for zoning changes on the same property within a year of an earlier application’s denial.
Normally, the city restricts new zoning requests on a piece of property to one in a 12-month period if a first request has been denied. TPA Group’s first rezoning request was denied in January of this year, so, under the policy, it would not be able to resubmit a new zoning proposal until late January of 2020. City code does allow for the council to shorten that frame to six months.
TPA’s new proposal will include a master plan amendment, rezoning and conditional use request for Tech Village, a $250 million mixed-use development on Lakeview Parkway near Haynes Bridge Road.
Crawford Arnold, TPA Group director, told the City Council Oct. 21 that his firm is in the final stages of negotiations with a large corporation seeking 120,000 square feet for its corporate campus. The corporation has requested to remain anonymous for now, he said, but it plans to provide 500 jobs with an annual average salary of $70,000.
“They have a very tight timeline, and in order for us to stay in contention with them, we would need our plan to be heard and considered by the council in December,” Arnold said.
In addition, TPA Group is negotiating with two other firms interested in occupying a combined 200,000 square feet of office space, he said.
Back in January of this year, the City Council denied a request to extend the May 2019 deadline for TPA to seek building permits for some 276 apartments before the site reverted back to its previous zoning that allowed for-sale residential.
The council showed little interest in accommodating Tech Village at the time. For one thing, city officials expressed concern that the city has no shared document with the developer that specifically detailed the site plans.
Another point, highlighted by Mayor Jim Gilvin, was the project’s affiliation with North American Properties, the developers for Avalon. Gilvin pointed out that North American had originally proposed no apartments in its second phase at Avalon when it came before the City Council for zoning approval in 2012.Ultimately, the second phase plan called for 275 apartments.
TPA Group filed suit against the city in February claiming the denial represented malfeasance and wrongful conduct by the city. The city responded by asking the court to dismiss the suit outright.
Gilvin was not present at the Oct. 21 meeting. Councilman Ben Burnett was also absent.
With the Oct. 21 vote, TPA will now be able to seek zoning changes on the property a little more than 10 months after the earlier denial.
A public hearing on the new proposal has been tentatively set for Dec. 17.