Tell F’ville Council if you don’t like high density development

This is a heads up that the Fayette City Council will be holding a hearing on the 376 units on 38 acres this Thursday night at 7 p.m. If you oppose high density development in Fayette County, best be there. And thanks to all the people who responded to my last letter. I have printed the emails and taken them over to the city of Fayetteville.

As a quick review: This project first went through the City Planning and Zoning Department. There were several hearings and at each one of those hearings citizens made their concerns known.

At each following meeting, the developer would propose how “they” were addressing those concerns, i.e., traffic and number of apartments. They were willing to reduce the number of apartments by 14 units and offer a “free” apartment to the police for an officer to stay in, and they brought in a traffic consultant who presented a plan to add an extra left turn lane at the intersection on Ga. Highway 54.

The final vote by Planning and Zoning was against the project due to it surpassing the allowable units per acre even if rezoned from MO (medical Offices) to PCD (Planned Community District).

The next step in the process was to go before the City Council, which usually follows the recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Commission, but in this case they seem to be stalling since council members have been lobbied heavily by the developer and his experts along with the Downtown Development Authority, whose goal is to bring more foot traffic to the Square.

The red flag went up when the City Council motioned to table the vote instead of voting yes or no, which meant they were stalling for more time to make a decision and giving the developer more time to counteract and probably hoping our furor would die down.

It was at this point I wrote the letter to the editor and sent out emails. We can’t let our guard down. In fact, there is always the chance the developer may choose stalling until the new council comes in January of 2014 when Walt White (who is opposed) and Larry Dell (who is opposed) will be replaced.

I would like to add that I received emails from some folks out on Hwy. 314 that are also concerned about proposed developments in their area. They feel they are in the dark. This brings up another important issue.

The city of Fayetteville should require letters be sent to all adjoining property owners about proposed projects and include the hearing dates. That is considered standard procedure in most districts. Otherwise someone has to go down to City Hall and ask to speak with the Planning and Zoning Department to get any information. Obviously, if you have no clue something is in the works, then you have no reason to go to City Hall.

The Grady Avenue proposal is a prime example. I am one of two adjoining property owners to this huge project and I never received any phone call, email or letter about it. The only way I found out was when I was walking my dog and saw the sign along the road in the woods. The print was so small I had to cross the road and read the sign up close.

Even then it didn’t say anything about what was going on, only that there was a zoning change request. My sister just happened to be visiting, who is a land surveyor, and her curiosity was piqued since I thought this city was against high density.

Luckily another civic-minded neighbor had also been to City Hall and made copies of the map. Mr. Lester canvassed Grady Avenue to make sure everyone was aware of what was being proposed. Soon word spread to other close neighborhoods like Apple Orchard and Quail Hollow.

Fayetteville City Council should also take heed of Coweta County Board of Commissioners denying rezoning for a “class A” apartment complex of 224 units on 24 acres Aug. 22, 2013. This particular request for rezoning asked for the 24 acres to be changed from M-Industrial to R-22, Multi-Family Residential District.

This developer also came in claiming the “apartment complexes would be high quality and “something we can be proud of in the end.” He also claimed Coweta needs “high-end, multi-family housing” and that their typical tenants would be between 35 and 45, and are renters by choice, not necessity.

The sewer issue seemed to be the major sticking point, with the developer claiming each unit would use 160 gallons per day. A commissioner questioned that number, citing it as too low, adding 220 gallons per unit was more likely.

Commissioner Brooks thought the development far exceeded the existing allocation of water and sewer per acre and therefore made the motion to deny the request. The vote was 4-1 and rezoning was denied.

I don’t believe the sewer allocation issue was ever even brought up at the Fayetteville Planning Commission hearings or the City Council meetings. The only mention of it came from a Grady Avenue resident who is a licensed plumber.

He stated the existing water line, already clogged with roots, would never be able to handle an increase in volume of that magnitude. This statement was made at one of the early Planning and Zoning hearings but not heard by the City Council.

On the upbeat, if you haven’t seen the signs down Grady, take a drive. A note to others wanting to put up signs in their neighborhoods: Be aware that only two signs per yard are allowed and you need the property owner’s permission. None can go on city or county property (between the sidewalk and the street). Whoever put up the yellow and black signs, the city has removed them.

Maybe if we all started wearing “No High Density Development in Fayette County” T-shirts or put decals on our cars, our county commissioners and city council members would get the message loud and clear – and so would the developer’s scouts.

Believe me, they are swarming around due to Pinewood Studios going in and most find our prices invitingly low.

Kathaleen Brewer
Kathaleenbrewer@bellsouth.net
Fayetteville, Ga.

Robert W. Morgan
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Good catch, Ms. Brewer

First of all, this is a City of Fayetteville project and a Fayetteville City Council. Fayette County and its quality of life are pretty much a different subject.

You have correctly identified the Downtown Development Authority (and it's twin sister - Main Street) as being the lobbying arm of developers touting high density projects in and around Fayetteville. The goal of a retail district is to have as many potential customers a short driving distance away. Even better would be several hundred young customers within walking distance - especially true where said retail district has virtually no easy parking for cars.

The Fayette County quality of life argument is no longer valid in Fayetteville, the city. The recent annexation, the slobbering love affair with Pinewood and the 2 new city councilman coming on board are proof enough of what path Fayetteville is on. Get used to it. The fights will not be over whether or not to build or whether or not to zone, but rather over density negotiation and sewer usage. A city does not annex unless they intend to expand. And an expanding city does not leave pristine islands of undeveloped real estate in its midst.

GAGAL
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Kathaleen: You did a great

Kathaleen:

You did a great job "bringing us up to speed." Thanks so much for what you are doing to protect our City. I plan on attending tomorrow night's meeting. From what I hear, the longer this is delayed, the more unhappy people are getting. Why can't the City Council just do the right thing by voting "No" and getting this behind us? What are they thinking?

I did take a drive down Grady today and it's so encouraging to see how the folks in that neighborhood are pulling together.

I guess time will tell if our politicians have the sense to stop this mess. If not, we'll usher them out when they come up for election ... not a threat, put a promise!!!

moelarrycurly
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ginga

Is the Mr. Lester mentioned above the same as the WFB landowner?

GAGAL
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Mr. Lester

The Mr. Lester referred to in Kataleen's article is NOT related to the Lester's involved with the West Fayette Bypass.

ginga1414
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moe

If I am remembering correctly, they are members of the family!

AtHomeGym
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ginga & WeedGate

Thanks for standing up for the rest of us at the BOC meeting last Thur night. This noxious proposal needs to die a total death when again considered. Don't know who proposed such a thing but they obviously don't have enough useful things to do.

ginga1414
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AtHomeGym

You are very welcome. I think the very last thing we need to spend money on is "weed police."

moelarrycurly
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Thanks, Ginga

Beware of those who have a financial interest in the WFB land who might come out against anything in their own interest.

To answer h&f, I have warned Fayetteville residents on this blog more than once about how their life is going to be drastically impacted by Pinewood and associated development. I had one responder who said they lived in Fayetteville and had no clue as to the issues the WFB property annexations would present. That was the extent of the concern.

I think some are now waking up and smoking the coffee:) as to what needs to be paid attention to.

Their planning dept. and planning comm. will be the most critical parts of this process, along with elected. For some reason, the FC BOC Chair is right in the middle of Fayetteville business, too, and if I lived there, I would tell him to step aside and let the city govt. and residents handle their own issues. If and when they need the county to step in, they have his #.

This move to stop this development is right on for what my opinion matters (zilch). Speak up and get this project denied asap. Whaddyathink, h&F?

Husband and Fat...
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What do I think

I didn't approve of the WFB
I didn't approve allowing Pinewood to lay roots in that part of the county.
I don't approve of high density housing placed nillywilly.
I believe too many people are trying to pad their resumes as a detriment to FC.

I think commission cow tow to too many people and are afraid to lead. And they continue to break their campaign promises for slow growth and to keep our rural roots.

I believe commission hide the fact that there is no complete storm water master plan, yet want us to spend money fixing issues that should have been budgeted.

I think both Oddo brothers need to step back from all of this development as there may be a conflict of interests based on their land holdings.

If these Lester's are the ones that profited from the sale of land for the WFB, I have little pity for their problem with ancillary results from selling the land allowing the bypass and Pinewood to stake claim. Though I will voice my disapproval concerning this high density project.

I also think AstroTurf should be banned
The small of a woman's back
And soft slow wet kisses that last for days.

moelarrycurly
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h&f off topic, time out there

Although, since you brought it up, surely you are not suggesting the last 2 should be banned with the fake greenery?

Crash Davis has invaded your soul.

Anyhooo, those Lesters have wanted to dump their land and run with the cash for years. Their ship is now sailing into port here. When they finish, we will all be left with the tsunami left behind.

Husband and Fat...
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I like the last two, a lot

So are they related to the nice man from Church that is now the chairman of the board of elections?

moelarrycurly
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Church man

I'm not up on the family tree. That would have to come from elsewhere. Maybe someone else on here would care to share.

File this under too much information, but I just threw up watching Chuck Schumer gloat.

hutch866
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Husband and Fat.

Which part of Fayette do you think Pinewood should have located in?

Husband and Fat...
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Hutch, I don't have an answer

Would have to study it some more, look at the zoning, roads, ect...

This was a fantastic sales job, and resume builder for a lot of people, no if ands or buts.

It followed the master plan to a Tee.

Husband and Fat...
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Hey Moe

If it is the same, does that change your opinion?

moelarrycurly
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Daddy-o

My opinion is worth nothing as I don't live over yonder. I would like to hear back on this before I put my one penny's worth of opine on here, so let me get back to you, ok? My one comment for now? You would think that Fayetteville would have learned an iota of caution from the pros in PTC who allowed our 54/74 mess and our own little WFB over here...:)

ginga1414
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WFB = High Density Housing

Kathaleen Brewer and her neighbors are fighting a battle for the entire county.

In 2008 a group of Fayette citizens organized the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition (WFBC). We were slapped in the face with the fact that big developers own huge parcels along the route of the WFB. It was very plain to see that those parcels would be developed with the paving of the WFB.

The Grady Ave. development is a direct result of the WFB.

The WFBC implored our elected officials to recognize the fact that our communities would be destroyed due to the development that would take place. We begged them to take care of the roads and infrastructure we already had before building more. Those elected officials are no longer in office.

Pinewood Studios has already changed the face of Fayette County. A beautiful rural wooded area has been destroyed. It has been replaced with multi storied concrete buildings. What an absolute shame if the historic district of Fayetteville is also destroyed.

I truly hope the Fayetteville City Council recognizes what the destruction will do to Fayetteville. When any portion of our county is altered, it impacts all Fayette citizens.

The West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition greatly appreciated the fact that citizens from all around the county supported our cause and helped fight the road. At the time, our elected officials said that the WFBC consisted of only a handful of disgruntled homeowners. That was far from the truth.

Whether you live in Fayetteville, Brooks, Tyrone, Peachtree City, please support our Grady Ave. neighbors by writing letters of opposition to the Fayetteville City Council. Please speak in opposition at the Thursday, October 17th City Council meeting at 7:00 P.M. Kathaleen can't do it alone!

What comes next? Will they demolish our beloved Old Courthouse for a rapid transit station? Kathaleen, please take my comments to the city council!