Coweta tweaks zoning rules for active adult developments

A zoning category approved in late 2013 to allow residential developments designed for people 55 years of age and up was amended July 15 by the Coweta County Commission to address building exteriors, enhance deed restriction requirements and mandate annual audits to ensure comploance with the age restriction requirement.

County planning director Robert Tolleson said the amendment to the RRCC (Residential Retirement Community and Care) district was designed to address issues that arose during the three previous rezoning requests which were approved by the commission.

“Based on concerns expressed at recent public hearings, the planning department has prepared an amendment to the RRCC,” Tolleson said in a recent letter.

As approved by uanimous vote, RRCC-zoned developments will be required to have single-family units fully clad with non-combustible materials. Those include natural stone, cultured stone, brick, glass, fiber cement planks and panels and masonry-backed stucco.

The amendment establishes that the age-related deed restriction will have priority over any secured lender’s interest to prevent future conversion of the development into non-age restricted dwellings.
The final component of the amendment mandates annual audits by the homeowner’s association or management company to confirm compliance with the requirement that at least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one resident who is 55 years of age or older.

The issues that led to the amendment came up earlier this year and were included as conditions with the approval of three projects. Those included the Powell Senior Village on Hollz Parkway, Arbor Springs Village on Arbor Springs Parkway and a third development at Redwine Plantation Drive and Happy Valley Circle.

The move to establish the new RRCC residential zoning category was in response to the growing number of Coweta citizens who are continuing to age and want residential options.

“The RRCC district is established to permit the development of retirement dwelling units for occupancy primarily by persons 55 years of age and over. The district requires site planning to assure both flexibility as well as the amenities required for quality retirement housing. Furthermore, the district is recommended to be located in close proximity to necessary facilities, services and transportation. Although this district is designed primarily for unassisted living by mature persons, both assisted housing and nursing homes may be permitted as conditional uses. This zoning district may serve as a transitional zone between non-residential uses and residential districts of a lesser intensity,” Tolleson said in a February letter.