Alpharetta City Council Agenda October 24, 2016

 

Below is the agenda for Monday night’s Alpharetta City Council meeting along with highlighted links to many of the supporting materials. Please feel free to leave questions and comments about agenda items in the comment section and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

 

I. CALL TO ORDER

II. ROLL CALL

III. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG

IV. PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
           A. Life Saving Award

V. CONSENT AGENDA
           A. Council Meeting Minutes (Meeting of 10/17/2016)
                10-17-16 Official Minutes

VI. PUBLIC HEARING

A. MP-16-11/CLUP-16-07/Z-16-09 Sharp Residential Townhomes/Windward Pod 20A

Consideration of a request to rezone approximately 13.7 acres from O-I (Office-Institutional) and CUP (Community Unit Plan) to CUP in order to develop 95 townhomes. An amendment to the Windward Master Plan Pod 20A to add ‘Dwelling, ‘For-Sale’ Attached’ to the list of permitted uses is requested, as well as, a change to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan from ‘Corporate Campus Office’ to ‘High Density Residential’. The property is located behind Union Hill Park at the southwest corner of McGinnis Ferry Road and Union Hill Road and is legally described as being located in Land Lots 1038, 1039, 1048 & 1049, 2nd District, 1st Section, Fulton County, Georgia.

Staff Report
Location Map
Zoning Map
Land Use Map
Aerial Map
Revised Site Plan – 10-14-2016
Townhome Supply Analysis – 10-14-2016
Revised Rendering – 10-14-2016
Product Rendering
Revised Site Plan
TownHome Performance Standards
Citizen Part B Report
Application

B. Z-16-12 1530 Rucker Road

Consideration of a request to rezone approximately 1 acre from AG (Agriculture) to R-12 (Dwelling, ‘For-Sale’ Residential) in order to subdivide the property into 3 lots. The property is located at 1530 Rucker Road and is legally described as being located in Land Lot 1273, 2nd District, 2nd Section, Fulton County, Georgia.

Council Agenda Report
Land Use Map
Aerial Map
Zoning Map
Location Map
Revised 2 Lot Site Plan
Citizenship Part B Report
Application

C. MP-16-06/V-16-16 Academy Sports

Consideration of a request to amend the North Point Business Center Master Plan Pod 1 to add additional stand-alone retail density in order to develop a 62,943 square foot Academy Sports retail building. A variance to UDC Section 3.7.2 (2) to reduce the minimum 25% clear glass on a commercial building requirement along roadway facades is requested. The property is located on the north side of North Point Drive west of Haynes Bridge Road and is legally described as Land Lots 743 & 754, 1st District, 2nd Section, Fulton County, Georgia.

Council Agenda Report
Location Map
Land Use Map
Zoning Map
Aerial Map
Revised Site Plan 8.29.16
Elevations 2
Elevations 1
Applicant Aerial View
Revised Traffic Study
Application

D. Z-16-10/CU-16-08/V-16-24 Southerton/72 Thompson Street

Consideration of a request to rezone 0.3 acres from O-P (Office-Professional) to DT-LW (Downtown Live-Work) in order to develop 3 single-family detached homes. A conditional use is requested to increase the allowable density and a variance from UDC Appendix A, Section 3.7.3 to reduce the minimum lot size for detached homes and a variance from UDC Section 2.5.5 (D) to allow for crushed stone to be used for internal private streets is requested. The property is located at 72 Thompson Street and is legally described as being located in Land Lot 748, 1st District, 2nd Section, Fulton County, Georgia.

Council Agenda Report
Land Use Map
Aerial Map
Zoning Map
Location Map
Arborist Report 9.14.16
Tree Inventory
Application

VII. NEW BUSINESS
 A. Design Services – Water Quality and Bacteria Source Tracking Study for Foe Killer Creek
          Design Services – Water Quality and Bacteria Source

 B. Approval of the Release of an Indication of Interest to Solicit Potential                    Public/Private Partnership in the Development of a Performing Arts Center
          Approval of the Release of an Indication of Interest
          Performing Arts Center Indication of Interest Draft

 C. History Room Construction Services
          History Room Construction Services
          Malone Phase 2 Proposal
          Final Design
          Final Text Draft
          Graphic Typical Designs
          Schedule
          Alpharetta History Room Design Services Contract 16-102

VIII. PUBLIC COMMENT

IX. REPORTS

X. ADJOURNMENT TO EXECUTIVE SESSION

Urban Core Density proposed for Devore Road in Alpharetta

devore-hd-mu

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.

 

Urbanization of Downtown Alpharetta

Last week I wrote about the renewed effort to urbanize the City of Alpharetta. This week we will take a closer look at the current transformation of downtown Alpharetta into an urban core.

Last week’s Alpharetta Herald contained a good article providing insight into the public discussion among our Mayor and City Council members about increasing taxpayer subsidies for the city center project in downtown Alpharetta. You can read the whole thing here.

The reporter, Pat Fox, accurately describes my comments as:

He said he also thinks the project has strayed too far from the image he had of a village-style development and become too heavily focused on mixed-use.

“I don’t believe this plan ever met the spirit of what was sold to the public in the original bond issue back in 2011

The illustration below was published with the article.

alpharetta-urban-collage

Do you notice the huge expanses of green space with trees that serve as the focal point for the development? Do you notice how the heights of buildings within each block of development vary as if they were built over time rather than all at once? It looks pretty good doesn’t it?

Unfortunately the picture above is not the development which our mayor and council just voted to further subsidize with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. The actual proposal to be built downtown is shown below.

alpharetta-city-center-2016

As you can see the “village style” city center used to promote bonds for the development has now been transformed into something more resembling Bull Street in downtown Savannah. But even Bull Street doesn’t have a four story apartment building with more than 130 units covering an entire city block. The stark contrast between what was originally sold to residents and what is actually being built provides a timely illustration of the current urbanization taking place in Downtown Alpharetta.

Back in 2011 Alpharetta was mired in the depths of a severe recession. The top priority for our mayor and council at that point was getting Alpharetta’s economy back on track. I am proud to say that when we all worked together toward that common vision the results were overwhelming.

But this is no longer 2011. This is 2016 and today Alpharetta has a booming economy.

The size and density of the numerous development projects approved over the past five years are going to transform this community in ways we can only begin to appreciate. Avalon is only half complete and the developments along Old Milton Parkway and Thompson Street have just started. Thousands of apartments, town houses and homes have been approved but not yet built while nearly every week another large swath of trees is clear cut for more development.

Back in 2011 the people of Alpharetta and their elected officials could only hope for that day when we could face the challenge of how to manage explosive growth. That day is here now.

Mayor Belle Isle and our city council have shown what we can accomplish when we share the same vision. We brought tremendous growth back to this community and we can manage that growth to protect those qualities which make Alpharetta so special.

But when you look at the drastic differences in the two visions above it is no longer clear we still share the same vision. And until we agree on where we are going it will be impossible for us to agree about how we get there.

 

 

Is The Current MARTA Vision Worth The Chase?

The article below was written by Mayor David Belle Isle, the mayor of Alpharetta, who gave me permission to share it with you here.

 

Is The Current MARTA Vision Worth The Chase?

I’m a vision guy. I love looking at something and imagining what it could be; what it could be like; and how to get there. I love chasing a vision and seeing the pieces fall into place. But, for a vision to be worth the chase, the promise of “what could be” has to be better than “what is.”

Last week, I found myself in a makeshift room midway up the interior back stairs of the State Capitol. The room was packed. The air was hot. I was there to testify on behalf of Alpharetta at a committee hearing on the proposed MARTA expansion bill, SB 330. To my surprise, the room was not full of concerned every day citizens seeking faster commute times to home and work. Rather, it was filled with developers, lobbyists, and employees of chamber and public policy groups. Indeed, a total of 7 lobbying firms have been retained to make sure this MARTA bill gets passed and that you vote for it. Big money. Big stakes. Big supporters.

Among others, two developers spoke of how wonderful the MARTA expansion would be for the economy, specifically their economy. They introduced a new phrase: “transit premium.” This is the concept by which the properties serviced by the rail will increase in value by 50%. This is fantastic! Fantastic, that is, if you’re a property owner or developer near a proposed new transit station.

On the whole, I firmly believe that the expansion of public transit is part of the solution as we look to shorten our drive times to home and to work. But, the current $8 Billion proposal has me scratching my head:

  1. What About the 97%ers? Only 3% of commuters within reach of the current rail use MARTA and ridership is down over the past 10 years.
  2. Convenience Factor. For most, using rail involves a six-part process: a drive to the station, a wait for the train, a ride on the rail, a wait for a bus, a ride to a bus stop, and a walk to their building. Real people will weigh that time and hassle against driving straight to work.
  3. Transit for Everyone… Else. Many who support the expansion of MARTA rail are laboring under the hope that others will take the train so that their drive downtown won’t take so long.
  4. Until Death Do It Tax. 43 years is a long time to pay a tax on everything you purchase. This puts the full payment outside my life expectancy. I’m 40.
  5. Bait and Switch. The MARTA project list is disposable. MARTA is not obligated to build the projects the voters are being asked to fund. They should be.
  6. Hadn’t Thought of That. No one has thought to measure the expected improvement, if any, along Georgia 400. For an informed vote, we need to know how much quicker our drives will be.
  7. Federal Match? The proposed expansion is dependent on federal matching funds of $4 Billion. There is no obligation by the Fed to commit these funds. Before MARTA expansion hits a ballot, there should be.
  8. I’m Against What? The ballot question is worded in a way that a “No” vote implies you oppose traffic relief and economic development. The question should be neutral.
  9. Stacked Deck for Alpharetta. If successful, 3 new transit stations will attract 3 new streams of traffic from surrounding areas and require 3 new 2,500-car parking decks constructed MARTA-style.

I truly want to see us, as a region, take on traffic and develop a comprehensive plan. I can see it. That’s my vision. It is imprinted on my mind. Yet, we need to look at all the options openly: heavy rail, new roads, light rail, additional lanes, bus-rapid-transit, managed lanes, bus circulator programs, intersection improvements, signal timing, adaptive traffic, Uber, driverless cars. If we’re not careful, we’ll spend more than half of our transportation dollars on 3% of our commuters. “What could be” will be no better than “what is,” except we’ll have the pleasure of paying for “what should never have been.” The best answer probably lies in some combination of travel methods. We don’t know. But before we vote, let’s find out if this vision is worth the chase.

 

 

Alpharetta City Council Meeting Agenda December 14, 2015

Below is the agenda for Monday night’s Alpharetta City Council meeting along with highlighted links to many of the supporting materials. Please feel free to leave questions and comments about agenda items in the comment section and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

This meeting is the last scheduled council meeting of the year so will probably be the final meeting for Councilman DC Aiken and Councilman Michael Cross as they will not be returning for 2016. There will be a farewell reception for them prior to the meeting so please join us in the Multipurpose room on the first floor of City Hall at 6:30 p.m. to show our appreciation for their dedicated service to the people of Alpharetta.

I. CALL TO ORDER
II. ROLL CALL
III. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
IV. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Council Meeting Minutes (Meeting of 12/7/2015)
V. PROJECT UPDATES
A. Convention Center
B. City Center – Public Development
C. City Center – Private Development
VI. PUBLIC HEARING
A. V-15-29 Branch and Barrel/Avalon
B. MP-15-07/CLUP-15-08/V-15-21 Duke Realty/Windward Master Plan
C. MP-15-06/V-15-12 Marriott Courtyard/Pky 400 Pod C
D. PH-15-21 UDC Changes- Definitions and Text Amendments  (2nd reading)
E. CLUP-15-14/Z-15-15 Oak Hall Companies/Webb Bridge Tract
NOTE: This item has been deferred and will be neither heard nor considered during this meeting.
F. PH-15-24 UDC Changes – Sign Ordinance and Text Amendments
NOTE: This item has been deferred and will be neither heard nor considered during this meeting.
VII. OLD BUSINESS
A. Future Use of Old Library on Canton Street
B. Amending Chapter 18 of the Code (Parking Enforcement Officer) – (2nd Reading)
VIII. NEW BUSINESS
A. FY 2016 Tree Planting and Landscape Improvements
B. North Fulton Community Improvement District Expansion Request
IX. WORKSHOP
A. Bond Discussion
X. PUBLIC COMMENT
XI. REPORTS
XII. ADJOURNMENT TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
 

Alpharetta City Council Meeting Agenda for December 7, 2015

Below is the agenda for Monday night’s Alpharetta City Council meeting along with highlighted links to many of the supporting materials. Please feel free to leave questions and comments about agenda items in the comment section and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

I. CALL TO ORDER
II. ROLL CALL
[Collapse] III. PROCLAMATIONS
A. Proclamation – Police Captain Gary Cann
IV. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
[Collapse] V. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Council Meeting Minutes (Meeting of 11/16/2015)
B. Alcoholic Beverage License Applications
C. Financial Management Report for the month ending October 31, 2015.
[Collapse] VI. PROJECT UPDATES
A. Convention Center
B. City Center – Private Development
C. City Center – Public Development
[Collapse] VII. PUBLIC HEARING
A. CU-15-07/PH-15-11/V-15-19 Chick-fil-A/Avalon
B. PH-15-21 UDC Changes- Definitions and Text Amendments  (1st reading)
[Collapse] VIII. NEW BUSINESS
A. Amending Chapter 18 of the Code (Parking Enforcement Officer) – 1st Reading
[Collapse] IX. WORKSHOP
A. Proposed Design: Old Roswell Plaza
B. Bond Discussion
X. PUBLIC COMMENT
XI. REPORTS
XII. ADJOURNMENT

Alpharetta City Council Meeting Agenda for September 28, 2015

Below is the agenda for Monday night’s Alpharetta City Council meeting along with highlighted links to many of the supporting materials. Please feel free to leave questions and commits about agenda items in the comment section of this page.

I. CALL TO ORDER
II. ROLL CALL
III. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
[Collapse] IV. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Council Meeting Minutes (Meeting of 9/16/2015 and 9/21/2015)
[Collapse] V. PROJECT UPDATES
A. Convention Center
B. City Center – Private
C. City Center – Public
[Collapse] VI. PUBLIC HEARING
A. MP-15-05/Z-15-08/-CU-15-08/V-15-19 METLIFE
B. V-15-24 Old Milton Holdings Variance to the UDC
C. CLUP-15-07/PH-15-16 CLUP Update for Downtown Master Plan
D.PH-15-22 Development Impact Fee Ordinance (2nd reading)
E. Telecommunications Ordinance (2nd reading)
F. PH-15-23 UDC Changes-Sign Ordinance (2nd reading)
VII. OLD BUSINESS
[Collapse] VIII. NEW BUSINESS
A. Bus Arm Enforcement Program
B.Settlement of Fulton County v. City of Alpharetta, et al 2009 CV-177235 and Authorization to Execute Service Delivery Strategy Agreement
[Collapse] IX. WORKSHOP
A. Foe Killer Creek Watershed Study and Wills Park Drainage and Water Quality Study – Update
B. Presentation And Discussion Of Capital Project Financing Options
X. PUBLIC COMMENT
XI. REPORTS
XII. ADJOURNMENT

Alpharetta City Council Meeting January 27 ,2014

There has been a great deal of public interest in the first zoning item listed on the agenda so I suggest you get there early if you plan to attend.

Alpharetta City Council

Public Hearing & City Council Meeting

Monday, January 27, 2014 7:30 PM

Location: Alpharetta City Hall – Council Chambers

I. CALL TO ORDER
II. ROLL CALL
III. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
IV. CONSENT AGENDA A. Council Meeting Minutes (Meeting of 01/06/2014) B. Financial Management Report (Month Ending 12/31/2013) C. Alcohol License Applications
1. PH-14-AB-01  Annie’s Italian Kitchen Owner: Annie Scoles 3070 Windward Plaza – Suite X-1 Consumption: Liquor / Beer / Wine / Sunday Sales
2. PH-14-AB-02  Balance Restaurant Group, LLC d/b/a Kickshaw Grill Owner: Balance Restaurant Group 800 North Main Street – Suite 130 Consumption: Liquor / Beer / Wine / Sunday Sales
3. PH-14-AB-03  SK Empire, LLC d/b/a Kahn’s Food Mart Owner: SK Empire, LLC 3955 Old Milton Parkway Package Store: Beer / Wine
V. CITY CENTER     (Bob Regus / Mike Hall) A. Workshop And Project Update
VI. PUBLIC HEARING A. Community Development   (Richard McLeod / Kathi Cook)
1. MP-13-02 / CLUP-13-09 / V-13-22: Windward Pod 66 Consideration of a request to amend the Windward Masterplan in order to permit single family “for-sale” residential.  A request to change the Future Land Use Plan from “Corporate Campus Office” to “Medium Density Residential” is also requested and a variance from the required 50’ undisturbed buffer required between commercial/office uses and residential property. The property is located between Edison Drive and Webb Bridge Road and legally described as being located in Land Lots 1113, 1180, 1176, 1243, 1179, 1242 2nd District, 1st Section, Fulton County, Georgia
2. V-14-04: Top Golf Consideration of a height variance to allow 138’ poles at building grade elevation that are used to hold netting to trap golf balls. The property is located on Westside Parkway and legally described as being located in Land Lots 639, 654, 2nd District, 2nd Section, Fulton County, Georgia
3. V-13-21: Peachtree Residential Consideration of a variance to reduce the minimum building setback from 20’ to 10’ for a townhome building located within Victoria Square. The property is located on Orchid Lane within Land Lot 1270, 2nd District, 2nd Section, Fulton County, Georgia
4. V-14-03: Dania Drive Consideration of a variance request to remove the City’s required 75’ non-impervious buffer and 50’ undisturbed buffer in order to construct a home at 240 Dania Drive. The property is legally described as being located in Land Lot 1177, 2nd District, 2nd Section, Fulton County, Georgia
VII. BUSINESS MEETING A. Administration     (Bob Regus / Sam Thomas) 1. Resolution: North Fulton Community Improvement District A resolution of the Alpharetta City Council consenting to the expansion of the North Fulton Community Improvement District
2. Resolution: Hotel / Motel Tax Rate A resolution of the Mayor and Council of the City of Alpharetta pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 48-13-51(b) to specify a new excise tax rate (hotel / motel tax); to identify the project for tourism development purposes; to specify the allocation of proceeds, and for other purposes
VIII. Reports

IX. ADJOURNMENT

The Avalon project in Alpharetta moves forward

Below is a statement released yesterday by the City of Alpharetta. It is a call for public input on the zoning application submitted for a new development to replace the rotting parking garage currently sitting at the doorstep of our city on Old Milton Parkway.

I encourage all of you to participate in this process. It will have an enormous impact on our community, our quality of life and our property values for years to come.

We Want To Hear From You

North American Properties, the new owner of the 80-acre site at the northwest corner of GA-400 and Old Milton Parkway that was formerly known as Prospect Park, has submitted to the City ofAlpharetta their proposed plan for developing the site. As envisioned by the owner, the project, now named “Avalon”, would be a development consisting of retail, office, hotel, and residential uses with additional outparcels set aside for future sale or development.

While the formal public hearings for the Avalon Proposal are tentatively scheduled to begin on March 1st when the proposal is presented to the Planning Commission, the City ofAlpharetta is seeking early feedback on the owner’s plans.

Please take a few moments to visit our Open City Hall online discussion about the new Avalon Proposal.  There you can view the proposed site plan for Avalon and the table comparing the uses proposed by North American Properties to those that were approved for the formerProspectPark.  Then, let us know your initial impressions, thoughts, concerns or suggestions. Your comments may be helpful to North American Properties as its plans are further refined and may also assist the Planning Commission and the City Council as they consider the proposal.

Also, please consider sharing this opportunity with your friends and neighbors.  We want to hear from all interested citizens.

Thank you for your participation.

James T. Drinkard
Assistant City Administrator, City of Alpharetta

Georgia Tea Party condemns racist flyer in Alpharetta

The inflammatory flyer I found in my mailbox yesterday made the 11 o’clock news last night and there is still no confirmation that the material was distributed by anyone affiliated with the Tea Party movement or even those people opposed to the local zoning issue. As mentioned in my previous post, I smell a rat…, I find it far more likely that this material is part of a smear campaign directed at both of those groups.

The WXIA news report is here. Below is the most relevant section:

The flyer ostensibly tries to mobilize opposition to Amana Academy — a Fulton County charter school that opened in 2005. Amana offers students in kindergarten through eighth grade language classes in Arabic.

The State Coordinator of the Georgia Tea Party Patriots says the group is not officially associated or recognized by the state organization.

“We are very suspect of this flyer. No one has heard of this group and no contact information is listed,” Tea Party Spokesperson Julianne Thompson wrote in a prepared statement. “We believe it is either a group of local extremists afraid to use their own names… or it is an attempt at character assassination.”

“Either way, we strongly condemn this type of flyer, its disgusting language and intention. This group is in no way permitted to use the name of the Tea Party Patriots.”

The state Tea Party says they are focused on, “fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.”

As I said in my previous post, no one with half a brain would believe the distribution of such vile material in our neighborhood could possibly help their cause. This is evidenced by the fact our residents were so disgusted  that they actually called the local TV station to report such an incident.

I hope that Alpharetta’s local authorities are able to use security camera footage from homes in this area to identify the actual perpetrators of this ridiculous stunt. If the flyer was created by someone crazy enough to believe it would help their cause the person is dangerously detached from reality and if it was done by someone so filled with rage that they would go to this extreme to smear other people as racists then they are dangerous and pathetic. Either way they need to be off the street.