Local developers hoping to build 128 apartment units off West Candler Street in Winder have withdrawn their request for rezoning conditions changes that would have allowed them to do so.

The city council voted unanimously Tuesday, Nov. 10, to allow LAB P.I. Group to withdraw its request without prejudice, meaning they would be allowed bring the request back before the city if they wanted to after a mandatory-minimum, three-month waiting period.

The developers have sought amended rezoning conditions for 14.79 acres between Marion, James and Myrtle streets (across from Rose Hill Cemetery), which was approved for a rezoning in 2018 under the conditions that any housing development be age-restricted and limited to 64 units. The formerly proposed senior housing development project by Piedmont Housing Group never came to fruition, and Lab P.I. Group sought both relief from that condition and to double the allowable number of units from 64 to 128, all to be constructed south of the creek on the property.

The proposal was met by pushback from community residents who have spoken at recent council meetings, and an online petition opposing the request has garnered more than 500 signatures.

Applicant Wes VanKirk requested last month that the council table the request so that he and his partners could meet with the residents to try to address their concerns. In a letter to the mayor and council dated Nov. 2, announcing the applicants’ intention to withdraw the request, Holt Persinger with Ridgeline Planning said those meetings have not yet materialized.

“It was our intent to meet with stakeholders in the community, to listen to their concerns, and see if we could work toward an agreeable alternative for everyone,” Persinger wrote. “We have attempted to set up several meetings that were later canceled. Seeing that community members are not willing to meet with us, at this time we would respectfully request a withdrawal of the application without prejudice.”


In other business Tuesday, the council:

•tabled, until December, conditional-use requests for a gas station with fuel pumps, a convenience store and liquor store at the intersection of Harry McCarty Road and the east side of Exchange Boulevard in order to get more information for GDOT’s future road plans by the property.

•approved a request by Mike Rice and Mark Still to rezone 0.7 acres at 130 North Broad St. and a variance request to reduce the required lot width, lot size and setbacks in order to build three craftsman-style homes with several conditions attached.

•approved the purchase of four police vehicles at state contract pricing and the associated necessary equipment at a price not to exceed $202,000.

•approved $37,625 for the paving of and repairs to the Winder Public Library parking lot by using $15,000 in library assessment collections left over from last year and paving and repair money from the General Fund budget.

•approved memorandums of understanding with the Georgia Department of Transportation for inclusion of the water and natural gas infrastructure relocation into the roadway contract for the planned roundabout at the intersection of highways 11 and 211. The city and GDOT will negotiate a percentage of utility aid that will be reimbursed to the city.

•approved renaming the segment of Patrick Mill Road within the city limits to Bill Rutledge Road to assist Barrow County Emergency Services with a map confusion issue when responding to calls.

•approved an event permit with intermittent street closures for the ninth annual Holly Jolly Elf Trot 5K set for Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. beginning at 58 West Candler St. and ending at Kelly Drive. The permit is contingent on the applicant’s compliance with the governor’s coronavirus executive orders.


(1) comment

Tommy Tucker

In regards to the attempt by Lab PI Group, LLC(Wes Vankirk) to build 128 High-rise[3 story] apartments on West Candler Street in Winder, "We the People" will not ever be meeting with Mr. Vankirk to discuss his efforts to turn our West Winder neighborhood into a ghetto. We want the 64 unit Senior-living community he promised to build when the City Council allowed this to be rezoned from AG to R-3 on 5/8/18.. Mr. Vankirk stop trying to buy time, you will not persuade anyone. Your money doesn't buy everything!. Everyone sign this petiton @ https://www.change.org/nohighdensitybarrow ..

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