348-unit Grady Avenue rezoning on F’ville agenda Thurs.
A proposed apartment complex on Grady Avenue in Fayetteville is back for another try at rezoning before the Fayetteville City Council.
In June, the council had concerns about a proposed upscale residential development on 38 acres on Grady Avenue that included 400 apartments, townhomes and cottages and led to questions about traffic issues.
Knotty Pine will be back before the council Thursday night for the first reading of a revised request that has reduced the number of units and is proposing solutions to traffic concerns.
Then and now, the request asks the property along Grady Avenue near Ga. Highway 54 to be rezoned from Medical Office to Planned Community District (PCD).
The applicant when first presenting the request earlier in the summer was asked to reduce the overall density of the development that included 300 upscale apartments, 67 townhome units and 33 one- and two-story single-family cottages.
“The applicant has responded with a reduction of 52 total units, pulling 24 from the apartments, 38 fewer townhomes and offsetting this number with an increase in 10 single-family detached homes,” said city Community Development Director Brian Wismer. “The revised total distribution of housing is proposed at 276 apartment units, 29 townhomes and 43 detached cottages. This reduces the total density of the development from 10.5 units per acre to 9.2 units per acre.”
In recommending approval, city planning staff referenced the city’s 2006 comprehensive plan, which noted that within the downtown district, development strategies should recognize the need for “a variety of housing options” and “development that will bring residents and (subsequently) neighborhood businesses back to the downtown area. (Achieving) critical density is an essential element of downtown revitalization.”
Along with this, the comp plan also recognizes that “single-family detached housing is not desirable or appropriate for everyone,” said Wismer.
Wismer noted that businesses need people in close proximity to support them, and in order to court further development of the downtown corridor, that downtown critical mass is extremely important when businesses consider where to locate. The forthcoming need for housing that will be generated by Pinewood Atlanta Studios’ activities should also be considered, Wismer said.
“Fayetteville currently does not offer any rental options of this quality and proximity to the historic downtown, and this could be an opportunity to keep those employees in the city and not commuting to Atlanta,” said Wismer.
Pertaining to the other concern from earlier in the summer, the proposal went before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 27 and received an unfavorable recommendation due largely to unresolved traffic concerns. The applicant since that time has proposed additional solutions that could alleviate those concerns, Wismer said.
Wismer said the traffic study was conducted by Kimley-Horn, which the city has also used for traffic studies in the past. The results of the study recognize that traffic will undoubtedly increase as a result of this development, but that the overall “Level of Service” ranking of Grady Avenue and its ability to accommodate traffic flow will remain the same, Wismer said.
“To minimize this traffic impact, the study also included recommendations for improvements along Grady Avenue and specifically at the Grady Avenue/Hwy. 54 intersection that is of paramount concern,” said Wismer.
One recommendation at that intersection would convert the right-turn only lane into a left/straight/right lane, thereby allowing left turn traffic to stack into two lanes instead of one. The city engineer has reviewed the findings and agrees with the results of the study and its proposed improvements to reduce the traffic impact. The applicant has agreed to make the recommended improvements and has presented a rendering of how the completed improvements will look, said Wismer.
“The applicant has responded cooperatively to the requests for additional data, community outreach and site modifications by city staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission. By all accounts, this will be a high-quality development and a significant investment in the community which could address future housing needs and help to build the downtown district,” Wismer said in recommending that the request be approved.
The 38-acre property is located adjacent to the Waterfall commercial development at the intersection of Grady Avenue and Ga. Highway 54 West.
The second reading is expected at the Oct. 3 meeting.