Massive new ‘West F’ville’ debuts

Graphic overlay shows potential development around hospital and Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Graphic provided by the Fayette County Development Authority.

Annexation of 1,200 acres may be developed into 4 community clusters with land uses from farm houses to offices to apartments

If it were a movie, its title might be, “The Remaking of Fayetteville.”

The most recent incarnation of long-held conceptual plans for hundreds of acres of mostly rural, undeveloped land on Fayetteville’s west side were scheduled to be revealed July 9 at a joint meeting of officials from Fayetteville and Fayette County (after press time). If brought to fruition, those plans will bring huge and historic changes to Fayetteville.

What began in 2006 as the Ga. Highway 54 Task Force which included the owners of nearly 2,000 acres of developable land in central Fayette County near Piedmont Fayette Hospital became the West Fayetteville Neighborhoods concept plan in 2010. Today the vision for much of that property has transformed yet again.

The July 9 intergovernmental meeting (after press time) was scheduled to include a presentation of the “conceptual regulating plan” that coincides with the development of Pinewood Atlanta Studios a short distance to the north along Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road.

The 2010 concept plan developed by Peachtree City-based Historical Concepts called for the development of two “neighborhoods” and three “hamlets” located on portions of nearly 2,000 acres on the east, west and north sides of Piedmont Fayette Hospital, extending from east of Sandy Creek Road and Hwy. 54 to Tyrone Road to the west and north to Sandy Creek Road and Veterans Parkway.

Today that concept has been amended and encompasses a portion of approximately 1,200 acres expected to be annexed into Fayetteville in early September. The remainder of the annexation area includes the production and educational components of the Pinewood Atlanta Studios property currently under development.

The conceptual regulating plan scheduled to be presented July 9, also developed by Historical Concepts, shows much of the targeted property designated as Lester Park, Crystal Lake Park, West Fayetteville and Rivers Park. Plans show a mix of “T2 Rural” space along with “T3 Sub-Urban,” “T4 General Urban” and “T5 Urban Center.”

The conceptual vision lays out the designated development areas and a proposed street network in each, and includes only a general conception of the types of development that might be situated on the properties.

The conceptual regulating plan also includes a much smaller area not included in the annexation plans. That area is situated along the south side of Hwy. 54 from Sandy Creek Road to the east and extending to Veterans Parkway to the west.

T2 Rural areas would include sparsely settled land in open or cultivated states. These include woodland, agricultural land and grassland. Typical buildings would include 1- or 2-story farmhouses, agricultural buildings, cabins and villas.

T3 Sub-Urban areas would consist of low-density residential areas adjacent to higher zones that have some mixed use. Home occupations and outbuildings would be allowed. Setbacks would be relatively deep while blocks might be large and roads irregular to accommodate natural conditions. Parks and greenways would be included in the T3 areas and building heights would include 1- or 2-story structures with some 3-story buildings.

T4 General Urban areas would consist of a mixed use of residential and office development with building heights of 1-4 stories. T4 could utilize a range of building types such as single-family homes, row houses and offices. Civic space in these areas would include squares and greenspaces.

T5 Urban Center areas, located adjacent to and immediately west of the hospital, would consist of higher density mixed-use buildings to accommodate retail, offices, row houses and apartments of 2-5 stories in height. This area would have a tight network of street and wide sidewalks. Civic spaces would include parks, plazas and squares.

Lester Park includes much of the area along Hwy. 54 west of Veterans Parkway and east of Tyrone Road and is designated conceptually as being primarily T4 General Urban along with a significant percentage of greenspace and a small area of office space along a portion of Hwy. 54.

Crystal Lake Park includes property to the east of Sandy Creek Road, just north of Hwy. 54 and extends to the north approximately half the distance to Veterans Parkway. Crystal Lake Park is conceived as being largely T3 Sub-Urban with a small amount of T4 General Urban along Hwy. 54 and Sandy Creek Road and significant greenspace throughout the area.

West Fayetteville, positioned to the west, northwest and south of Piedmont Fayette Hospital, would include largely T4 General Urban development with T5 Urban Center development adjacent to the hospital’s west and southwest sides.

Rivers Park, located across Sandy Creek Road from Pinewood Atlanta Studios and expected to be developed as Pinewood’s residential campus, would be designated T3 Sub-Urban with greenspace along Sandy Creek Road and containing a small area of T4 General Urban development.

Two remaining areas up for annexation on the northeast and northwest portions of the 1,200-acre area are largely designated as T2 Rural or as special district parcels.

The July 9 intergovernmental meeting also was scheduled to include the timeline for the annexation of the nearly 1,200 acres to the east, west and north of the hospital.

The city and county this month will adopt an intergovernmental agreement pertaining to the annexation, to the installation of sewer onto portions of the properties and extending sewer to the Pinewood property.

Sewer work is expected to begin in August and the annexation of the property into Fayetteville is expected to occur on Sept. 1.

Also in September, the City Council will adopt land use plans, zoning amendments and architectural guidelines for the upcoming projects.

The joint meeting was called a workshop, but the Tuesday afternoon gathering was all about lights, cameras and interlocking governmental action to be taken by the Fayetteville City Council and the Fayette County Commission.

With the massive annexation of hundreds of acres of mostly undeveloped rural land in the middle of the county as close to a done deal as such requests can get, the two governing boards set a meeting to get their respective ducks in a public row and to put a cooperative face on the Pinewood Atlanta Studios project.

While projected to bring potentially thousands of jobs connected with the nuts and bolts of producing movies and television shows into Fayette County, the studio has some large coattails not directly associated with movies or TV.

In addition to the 289 acres associated with the studio complex itself on Sandy Creek Road and Veterans Parkway, another 170 acres are asking for Planned Community Development (PCD) zoning.

The other properties requesting PCD zoning include the the 97-acre parcel directly to the south owned by Shirley Adams Horton, the 28-acre parcel that includes the former Rivers Elementary School soon to be purchased by Rivers Rock/Pinewood for use as an educational component by the studio and the adjacent 44-acre property owned by Rivers Rock/Pinewood. Those properties total 459 acres.

But an even larger component of the annexation is at least initially slated for residential (R-70) city zoning, an aspect that had begun to create some uncertainty among neighbors about future plans for the large parcels not owned by the developers or Pinewood Studios.

The remaining properties with multiple owners and totaling 727 acres are situated to the east, southeast and southwest of the Pinewood area and are currently mapped for R-70 zoning with no immediate plans for development.

Those properties include parcels along Ga. Highway 54 extending from east of Sandy Creek Road to Tyrone Road and along both sides of Veterans Parkway from Hwy. 54 to Sandy Creek Road.

The joint meeting agenda was designed to give the public a more detailed view of what will happen not just to the movie studio project but also to the hundreds of acres of adjacent parcels that will be coming into the city.

Officials on the agenda were Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown; Fayetteville Mayor Greg Clifton; Matt Forshee, President and CEO, Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA); Aaron Daily of Historical Concepts; Brian Wismer, Fayetteville Director of Community Development; and Pete Frisina, Fayette County Director of Planning and Zoning.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
T-5 reminds me of NYC with short buildings

Every week, something new emerges. Read this:
"---would consist of higher density mixed-use buildings to accommodate retail, offices, row houses and apartments of 2-5 stories in height. This area would have a tight network of street and wide sidewalks."

I have always thought density was something you gave a developer so you could force the developer to give back concessions of some kind that help the city or county. At the very least, they should be forced to build their own roads. The taxpayers already paid for the stupid road to nowhere (and it still goes nowhere even though Barlow, Brown and Ognio have been prevented from saying it). Is the developer paying for the sewer lines being extended or is that all on the backs of the Fayetteville taxpayers?

Of course you will notice that there is cleverly not one single developer responsible for the 1200 acres, so there is no one toactually ask for concessions - just a bunch of passive uninvolved landowners.

So what are we getting back for all this density? A couple of parks? Wide sidewalks? I hope Fayetteville at least has a substantial impact fee because this is a huge development - far larger than anyone could have imagined.

I hope Fayetteville's city leaders are up to the task of managing the building of a mini-city that will be home for thousands of people - some in a high density urban setting like T-4 and T-5. Has anyone put a pencil to the number of people or households yet?

And to be clear, I'm not saying any of it is bad - but it sure can be if not managed properly.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Joined: 07/23/2012
Still Don't Get it

Our leaders change all of the land use plans for a studio built on speculation with promises of jobs. Other than California, NY, and Disney in Fl, every other studio and production facility failed. Even those that trained staff.

Why? Because the production companies don't care what studio they use or where they film. They look for the state that will give them the biggest stimulus. There are brokers production companies use to cut the best deal. At some point, GA will cut back on these handouts to get the GA state emblem attached at the end of a film credits when everyone has already left the theater. As soon as the state cuts back, production will move. Still don't understand how the Tea Party people aren't up in arms about the fiscal prudence and free markets unfettered by special govt stimuli

Outsiders are brought in for the high paying jobs, and locals do the menial tasks. Guess we need all those high density rental properties.

zincc's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
Rent vs. Sell

Hey, Maybe I can capitalize on this after all. If I can't sell my house sitting right next door, then maybe I can rent it out to someone moving here for a job!

zincc's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
The Remaking of Fayetteville!?

Really? For those of us living in this area, the calm, quiet, peaceful existance we have enjoyed is gone. The noise and traffic has increased exponentially and will continue to do so. For those of you that sit on the outside looking in and feel this is a gold mine for Fayette should have to live here, almost right next door, to this. You probably would change your mind, or at least have mixed feelings about the "remaking" since it has already made a negative impact. Imagine how much more noise and traffic are going to come when this place is fully operational! Anyone want to buy a house?

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
Look on the bright side, zincc

A couple more annexations and Tyrone, Peachree City and Fayetteville will all be connected to one another and the only thing the county commission will be in charge of is some cows down near Brooks. Eat mor Chikin!

zincc's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
You are probably right, Mr. Morgan

When they all connect, my house will be right smack dab in the middle of the connection. Again, anyone want to buy a house? If I sell it, then I can Eat Mor Chikin!

mudcat's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
Don't you think we should build a new school here?

With all this growth, how long will it be before someone suggests building a new school in this area? Maybe we can buy back Rivers for less than we sold it for, or is that for more than we sold it for? Whatever works.

tikigod's picture
Joined: 04/19/2006
Uh Oh

Commenter meltdowns in 3...2...1...

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