Alpharetta Condo Developer Penn Hodge appointed to Development Authority

Penn Hodge is the developer that was instrumental in bringing the Verizon Amphitheater to Alpharetta and coincidentally applied for a 15 story condominium on Windward Parkway a few months later. The condo tower will be part of the Windward Mill high density mixed use project that has been stalled for years. Once the Alpharetta City Council approved his project Mr. Hodge touted its density as unthinkable by area standards.

Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann has now appointed the strip mall impressario from Johns Creek to the Development Authority of Fulton County. Ms. Hausmann is quoted in the Alpharetta Revue here as saying:

“Penn Hodge’s impressive economic development background and his service as a member of the Economic Development Board for the State of Georgia will bring tremendous value to all of Fulton County,”

The urbanization of North Fulton County continues. Full speed ahead!

AJC explores the urbanization of Alpharetta

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has an article which explores the ongoing push by City Council to urbanize Alpharetta. You can read the whole thing here.

The piece includes comments from yours truly and another like minded resident. MetLife refused to comment. I guess they feel no need to defend the loss of 1800 jobs in exchange for 500 condos since it was the city’s idea in the first place.

A few snippets:

“The City of Alpharetta continues to add density, add condominiums and it’s going to have a negative impact on the future,” said resident Jimmy Gilvin, who plans to attend Monday night’s meeting. “We have a great quality of life, we have great public schools and for some reason that seems to be under attack right now.”

“Alpharetta is probably the only city in the country where a developer walks into the Community Development Department requesting a simple stream variance, and he leaves with the promise to push through zoning for a high density, mixed-use project,” resident Mark McKean said.

In response to the comments by Alpharetta residents the director of Alpharetta’s Community Development Department, Diana Wheeler, had this to say:

Wheeler denies the charge, and said there has been no attempt to alter the zoning code to fit MetLife’s plan. “If the plan met the code, it wouldn’t require a public hearing,” she said.

Well the city is holding a public hearing. So is Ms. Wheeler saying that the MetLife development doesn’t meet the code? Ms. Wheeler’s comments make no sense to me but then again neither does the Unified Development Code she devised in an attempt to permit developments that most city residents abhor.

There is still time to call the city and notify them of your position before the vote tonight. The phone number is 678-297-6000.