Grady Ave. plan to go back to starting line

Faced with mounting public opposition, developers of a Grady Avenue mixed-use residential project are retreating.

The requested rezoning on property along Grady Avenue in Fayetteville that would include apartments, townhomes and cottages will be on the agenda at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

But the plan is now under review by the applicant to revise the scope and scale of the project, making it likely that the agenda item will return to the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission for the updated changes.

“The density as proposed on this particular site has raised continuing concerns about traffic impacts and stormwater capacity. After receiving additional input and direction from mayor and council, the applicant has begun efforts to significantly reconfigure the site plan,” said city Community Development Director Brian Wismer.

“As we anticipate that the revised site plan will be substantially different from what was originally reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission, it will be necessary for that board to review and make an appropriate recommendation to council. Staff has also received a request from the applicant for the project to be sent back for planning review,” Wismer said.

City staff are recommending that council members approve the request to return the project to planning commissioners for a full review of the re-worked proposal.

The mixed-use residential proposal that would put cottages, townhouses and apartments on 38 acres along Grady Avenue near Ga. Highway 54 was tabled Oct. 3 so the developer could revise the scope and scale of the project.

The two concerns expressed last month dealt with the number of apartments and traffic issues 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.

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.

As proposed, 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 would be designed to cater to people who work in the Fayetteville area but do not currently live here. That target group also includes young working professionals.

A traffic study performed by Kimley-Horn and presented at the Sept. 19 meeting noted that the developer had agreed to widen Grady Avenue as it approaches Hwy. 54. Council was told 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.

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 in close proximity to downtown.