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City Council rejects controversial rezoning

A rendering of the proposed apartments.

City Council rejects controversial rezoning
September 14
03:00 2017

The City Council voted unanimously against rezoning for a 144-unit apartment complex where Fourth Street meets Peters Creek Parkway during its Tuesday, Sept. 5, meeting.

Most zoning requests receive a recommendation from the City/County Planning Board and are then approved by the council. This Board actually recommended the council reject the zoning request from Three Properties LLC, which owns the property. The request received opposition from several neighborhood groups and didn’t fit in with the development plan for the area.

Proponents described the project as an upgrade to the existing aging rental units on the property. Architect Eric Morrison said the current residents could move into the new development, after its completed, for no more than a 10 percent rent increase. Jayson Clapp, a traffic analyst, said planned improvements on Peter’s Creek Parkway would handle the additional traffic. Lori Cheek, who lives in the area, said it could add beauty to Peters Creek, generate tax revenue, and would increase the living standards for residents.

Bonnie Crouse, immediate past president of the Ardmore Neighborhood Assocation, said her group opposed the planned apartments that would loom over the neighboring houses on Fourth Street, with four stories facing them and five stories facing Peters Creek.

“They will not blend in,” she said.  “This amounts to an amputation of a wonderful little section of our neighborhood.”

Crouse said the traffic generated by the complex would’ve gone down the street through the West End neighborhood instead of unto Peters Creek. Both the West End Assocation and Preservation Forsyth also opposed the rezoning because of its potential effect on the area.

The complex had a proposed density of 73 units per acre, far denser than the South Central Area Plan, which calls for 15 units per acre, and could’ve opened the door for more projects of that sort of density. The property is also eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, though it is not currently on the register or part of a local historic district.

Several City Council members said that they didn’t believe it was the right place for the project and wished that type of development would come to other parts of town that need it.

“It’s a classic example of not a bad idea in the wrong place,” said Council Member Dan Besse, who represents the Southwest Ward the property is in.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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