At its monthly meeting on Nov. 14, the Planning Commission passed a motion (3 to 0) recommending approval of the Roberts Properties, Inc. (Roberts Properties Peachtree Retail, LLC) rezoning application with conditions.
Before the recommendation for approval was passed, Roberts Properties, Inc. shared its presentation from the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association meeting on Nov. 6.
Roughly 200 concerned citizens attended that meeting and vocalized their opinions and misgivings about the proposed multi-use project that includes 169 apartments and 110 room boutique hotel midrise buildings.
Citizen concerns included:
- The impact on the Simpson Elementary School
- An increase in traffic.
- The development tying into Medlock Bridge Road.
- The buildings not being developed according to site plans.
- The hotel not being developed as Hotel Indigo.
- The sequence of construction.
Shortly after, on Nov. 8, to display its “continued commitment to enhancing the city of Peachtree Corners,” Chief Operating Officer of Roberts Properties, Inc., David M. Phillips, sent Community Development Director, Diana Wheeler, a request to include 23 additional zoning conditions in its application, an apparent effort to alleviate community concerns. The full list of conditions can be seen here.
Highlights of the developer’s conditions include:
- The property will be developed in general conformity with the site plans and exterior renderings. The property owner may make changes to comply with codes and regulations.
- The property owner shall develop a Hotel Indigo or comparable boutique hotel as defined by the hotel industry.
- The property owner will be prohibited from applying for a building permit for the housing building and/or the hotel until the property owner provides the City with a copy of a fully-executed boutique hotel franchise agreement.
- The housing and hotel may be built simultaneously.
On Nov. 10, the Community Development Department (CDD) released its recommendation to approve the rezoning request with the new and previously adopted conditions, which can be found on pages 59-63 of the packet here.
Highlights from the CDD include:
- Residential development on the site shall be limited to the following:
- Townhomes not to exceed 12 units per acre and 4 stories in height.
- Assisted living facility not to exceed 4 stories in height.
- Hotel development on the site shall be limited to the Hotel Indigo brand or comparable, as approved by the City Council.
- Hotel construction shall be underway (foundation must have passed inspection) before a residential building permit is issued.
At the meeting on Nov. 14, the Community Development Department also shared results of its analysis of the proposed rezoning, which include but are not limited to:
- The expansion of mixed-use development (MUD) zoning for this area is suitable, but the massing, intensity, and scale should be comparable to that of its surroundings.
- Using the “Trip Generation Manual, 9th Edition” by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, a 14.6 percent increase in P.M. peak traffic would occur if the proposed zoning is approved.
- Based on Gwinnett County student generation rates applied to the proposed 169 apartments by Gwinnett County Public Schools Office of Planning Director Greg Stanfield, 49 students would be added to Simpson Elementary School, 25 students would be added to Pinckneyville Middle School, and 35 students would be added to Norcross High School.
Following the presentation by Roberts Properties, Inc., the public was invited to comment.
Attorney Christina Wagner expressed concern over the traffic impacts and potential increases in the student population, “That’s 2.5 classrooms that we don’t have. If this happens, you’re going to have to kick out kids that already attend Simpson. These are the kids that come from Neely Farm and the surrounding area.”
Rich Woodfield, a 24-year-resident of Peachtree Corners, expressed concern about relocating the existing retention pond saying, “Where these lofts and the hotel are currently sitting [on the plan], there’s currently a retention pond. Where is that retention pond going to be put?…Is it going to go into the stream? You can’t have that. I bet the stream goes right underneath The Forum. Eventually, that’s going to fail.”
Following the public comment period, Charlie Roberts and a Roberts Properties, Inc. representative, answered questions from the Planning Commission regarding the issues put forth by Wagner and Woodfield, as well as inquiries about sanitation, storm drainage, dumpsters, and more.
Afterward, Planning Commission Chairman Matt Houser motioned for a recommendation to approve the request with the suggested staff conditions, except for staff condition number one, which requested townhomes and an assisted living facility be built instead of apartments. He also added the conditions submitted by Roberts Properties, Inc., and added a condition that the final building elevations and site plan be submitted to the Planning Commission, the Mayor, and City Council for final approval prior to the issuance of the permit for construction.
The Mayor and City Council will address the application on Dec. 19.
Alex McCray is a freelance writer/reporter for Peachtree Corners Life. Contributing to the award-winning, student-run newspaper and magazine publications at Georgia Southern University sparked her passion for storytelling. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, she joined Atlanta Best Media, where she continues to work today. When she isn’t glued to a keyboard, her pastimes include pursuing her only bucket list item of seeing all seven continents, working out, and trying new restaurants. She can be reached at: Alex@PeachtreeCornersLife.com