The Barrow County Board of Commissioners tabled during its Tuesday, Nov. 10 voting session, a pair of rezoning requests in unincorporated Statham — one for a large subdivision of over 300 single-family homes, the other for a mix of single-family homes, townhomes and a small office complex.
The board voted 4-2 — with chairman Pat Graham and commissioner Rolando Alvarez opposed and commissioner Ben Hendrix absent — to table a request by Manor Restorations, which has been active in rezoning and development requests around the county in recent years, to rezone 95 acres at 575 Wall Rd. between State Route 316 and Atlanta Highway and change the future land-use character designation for the property from Rural Reserve to 316 Innovation Corridor. Approval of the request would allow the developer to build 318 single-family homes, with a little more than 20 percent of the homes (67) slated to be age-restricted (55 and up), according to Shane Lanham, the attorney representing the applicant.
The county’s planning staff has recommended that the request be denied due to it not being in line with the future land-use map. The planning commission did not make a recommendation last month, though none of the panel’s members were vocally supportive of the request.
The request has also drawn some pushback from nearby residents and the Barrow County School System, and concerns ranging from the impact on traffic and existing infrastructure, to the price point and square footage of the proposed homes, to the population impact on local schools, were once again aired during a public hearing before the board Tuesday.
Lanham said the developer was willing to speak with residents about concerns but maintained a change in land-use designation was appropriate and that the homes would be a complement to future industry and businesses along the 316 corridor, giving prospective workers places to live.
“It’s no secret that Barrow County is being looked at (by prospective) companies,” Lanham said, adding the developer would be agreeable to a traffic study for the proposed project.
Commissioner Joe Goodman made the motion to table in order to seek more information about how sewer capacity could be made available to the proposed development. Graham opposed the motion, saying the request boiled down to a land-use issue and not being compatible with the county’s map. Echoing concerns from residents, she also noted the Georgia Department of Transportation has long-term plans to build an overpass bridge at the intersection of SR 316 and Wall Road, which would close off access to 316 from Wall Road.
“The traffic coming from this development is going to have a long way to go,” Graham said.
The board is now scheduled to discuss the request again at its Dec. 8 voting session.
The board also postponed until Dec. 8 a public hearing on a request by Solstice Partners to rezone 18.15 acres at 725 R.D. Mack Rd. and change that property’s future land-use map designation in order to build an age-restricted community with 27 single-family homes, 126 townhome/condominium units and an estimated 12-15 executive suites at the front of the proposed development.
The primary applicant working on the project requested the item be tabled due to a health matter but expects to be prepared to discuss it with the board next month, John Stell, the attorney representing the applicants, said.
The planning commission recommended approval of the request, which also gained the endorsement from the school system. Stell told the planning commission last month that the single-family homes would be higher-end, ranch-style homes and would be priced in the high $400,000s or low $500,000s.
Representatives of the homeowners association at The Georgia Club have opposed the request, saying it, too, would create more traffic issues in the area near an already risky 316/Craft Road intersection.