Another rezoning application has been filed with the City of Alpharetta for yet another high density urban mixed use development. This one calls for 200 apartments in a 6 story building, 80 condos in 5 story building, 64 townhouses or homes and more than 130,000 square feet of office, retail and commercial space on about 12 acres of land. That works out to nearly 30 residential units and more than 10,000 square feet of office, retail and commercial built per acre of land.
To help you understand how dense that is just picture a high school football field without the end zones. Then imagine a typical Trader Joe’s with 29 apartments, condos or townhomes stacked on top in that little space.
Every property owner in Alpharetta has a constitutional right to apply for rezoning on their property and I will do my best to consider how such a dense urban core could ever be in the best interests of our community. But over the years I have consistently stated my belief that dense, urban development will absolutely destroy the very qualities that have made Alpharetta the greatest place in Georgia to raise a family and do business so it is hard to imagine hearing any justification that I haven’t already heard a thousand times.
For the time being though, I will just shake my head in disappointment that prior decisions by our mayor and council have lead property owners and developers to believe this type of urban core density is appropriate for such a site in Alpharetta.
You can find the application and supporting documents on the city website here.
Jim – thanks again for all you do to keep residents updated. It seems like there are new developments cropping up with greater frequency – while a growing city can be good, we’ve got to get the pace and density right or we’ll begin to drive people away.
I’m trying to get my head wrapped around all the residential/commercial/mixed use projects that have been approved over the past couple of years. Is there a list on the Alpharetta website? If so, I can’t find it. If not, what’s the best way to see the list of projects that have been approved since Jan 2015?
Francine- I appreciate you taking the time to keep up with the issues facing our community. I couldn’t agree more about the delicate balance needed to manage growth.
I am not aware of any consolidated list of recent zoning decisions like the one you are looking for but the information is available so I will ask our staff for such a list.
I am also amazed at the pace the Mayor and council seem to be approving these developments. They speak of having a small town feel but approve 4 and 5 story building on tiny spaces that have more of an inner city feel. The average citizen has difficulty keeping up with these developments at the speed they are being approved. Past experience has shown me that expression of opinion and concern, has fallen on deaf ears and/or ignored to bid their own “we know best” agenda.
I fear there is only thought of the here and now, and not for the future. These buildings will age, the focus will be directed to another “up and coming” area. Will this leave Alpharetta with high vacancy rates, blight and crime problems, years down the road? Or will more spaced out planning, allow for revitalization of a “small town” ?
I appreciate you trying to be the voice of citizens, whom you represent on many of these votes!
I have been before the planning commission and/or city council several times in the last 6 months or so, opposing various high density rezonings. This latest rezoning application (Perling/13 South Main Street/DT-MU – near Devore) is one I have great concerns about. When I learned of the new downtown live work zoning and how far it extended on the comprehensive master plan, I worried that high density rezoning would get even more out of control. We have Avalon, the city center, and Peridot – all high density mixed-use developments within a two-mile radius of each other. Why do we possibly need another one within a 1-2 mile radius of these developments? We are choking Alpharetta with the current level of development, and the goal of maintaining any resemblance of a “hometown feel” that the majority of residents wants has gone by the wayside in the name of high-density development.
Alpharetta residents who are concerned about the over-development of our city: please note that the rezoning application of Perling/13 South Main Street/DT-MU near Devore will be heard at the Planning Commission meeting on Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. The applicant is seeking to change the current zoning on these 12 acres from general commercial to downtown live work (DT-LW) AND is seeking a variance to allow even more density (24 units per acre) for his high density, mixed use monstrosity. A standing-room-only crowd showed up for a recent discussion on a downtown parking deck – let’s voice our concerns over development getting out of control in the “downtown corridor.”
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I certainly understand the concern regarding too many dense developments in Alpharetta, however what would be a better use for this land that is a block from downtown? This shopping center has say mostly vacant for far too many years, I for one I thrilled we will be getting something much better here. If you don’t like this development, what would you propose, or would you just want this tract of land to remain vacant and blighted? I sure would hope not.
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. The pre-existing zoning would have allowed the commercial half of the development to proceed as proposed and I would have preferred the residential component be developed at single family residential densities at a maximum of 8 units per acre on the 6 acres actually used for residential instead of the unprecedented densities approved.
The traffic would have been substantially reduced and the development would have then been more consistent with the existing single family development across the street. That would have allowed the land to be developed in a way which would not have had such negative consequences for adjacent homeowners and the thousands of Alpharetta residents who will now be stuck in the additional traffic such a dense development will now add.
I’m glad you are happy with council’s decision. I believe we could have done better. But what’s done is done now so I can only hope for the best.