Grady Ave. rezoning faces postponement for revisions

A controversial request by Knotty Pine, LLC, to rezone 38 acres on Grady Avenue in Fayetteville for mixed use residential is on the Oct. 3 City Council agenda. City planning staff may recommend the second reading of the agenda item be postponed until a later date.

The revamped proposal presented Sept. 19, one that scaled back the number of apartments, called for the construction of 276 upscale apartment units, 29 townhomes and 43 detached cottages. That density on the 38-acre property on Grady Avenue near Ga. Highway 54 would be 9.2 units per acre.

Fayetteville Director of Community Development Brian Wismer on Monday said he might suggest the agenda item be tabled at the Thursday meeting since council members are not in agreement over the proposed plan. Tabling the item would give the applicant an opportunity to return with a plan the council can endorse, Wismer said.

The two problems expressed by some on the council, and others in the community, dealt with the number of apartments and traffic concerns along Grady Avenue.

The Sept. 19 presentation by project representative Spurgeon Richardson scaled back the number of apartments from 300 to 276. Council members at the meeting also heard a proposal that would lessen the traffic impact by adding a third lane on Grady Avenue as it approaches Hwy. 54.

Tabling the item would provide the applicant time to re-work the proposal. Whenever presented for a second reading, disapproval by the council would require a one-year wait before a new proposal would be allowed.

As it stands today, the preliminary plan for the upscale apartments would have them range from 700-785 square feet for a one-bedroom with an anticipated average price of $1,047 per month, 1,000-1,175 square feet for a two-bedroom with an average price of $1,393 and 1,400 square feet for a three-bedroom at $1,510.

Cottages and townhomes are expected to range from 1,500-2,000 square feet and with a price range of $150,000-200,000.

The council was told the $46 million residential development will be designed to cater people who work in the Fayetteville area but do not currently live here. That target group also includes young working professionals. Richardson said there is sufficient current demand for upscale housing without taking into account the upcoming opening of Pinewood Atlanta Studios in January.

“Fayetteville currently does not offer any rental options of this quality and proximity to the historic downtown. This could be an opportunity to keep those employees in the city and not commuting to Atlanta,” said Wismer.

A traffic study performed by Kimley-Horn and presented by company representative Rob Ross at the Sept. 19 meeting noted that the developer had agreed to widen Grady Avenue as it approaches Hwy. 54. Ross said there is sufficient right-of-way to add a third lane so that the left and center lanes could turn left because the majority of the traffic flows west on Hwy. 54.

“That makes the intersection better than it is today. And they are going to pay for that,” Ross said.

Another option to help mitigate traffic concerns still in the works would involve purchasing a small section of property to the east that would allow the development to link directly to Hwy. 54 near downtown.

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