Coweta says ‘yes’ to 55+ communities

It did not take long for the new Residential Retirement Community and Care (RRCC) zoning category approved in November by the Coweta County Commission to generate proposals. Three such rezoning requests for communities geared to residents 55 years of age and older were approved by commissioners on May 6.

The move to establish the new RRCC residential zoning category was in response to the growing number of Coweta citizens who are continuing to age and want residential options.
County Director of Planning and Development Robert Tolleson provided clarification on the zoning category in a Feb. 26 letter.

“The RRCC District is established to permit the development of retirement dwelling units for occupancy primarily by persons 55 years of age and over. The district requires site planning to assure both flexibility as well as the amenities required for quality retirement housing. Furthermore, the district is recommended to be located in close proximity to necessary facilities, services and transportation.

Although this district is designed primarily for unassisted living by mature persons, both assisted housing and nursing homes may be permitted as conditional uses following review in accordance with Article 28, the Coweta County Zoning and Development Ordinance and approval by the board of commissioners. This zoning district may serve as a transitional zone between non-residential uses and residential districts of a lesser intensity,” Tolleson said.

All three proposals were continued from the April meeting after commissioners wanted additional information on the conditions for assuring that RRCC communities maintain the age requirement.

Commissioners were told that a mandatory annual audit submitted to the county’s planning department will be provided by each RRCC community to ensure compliance with the requirement that at least 80 percent of residents be aged 55 or older.

The first of the rezoning proposals was for Powell Senior Village located on Hollz Parkway off Ga. Highway 34. The conceptual site plan is divided into two projects. The “Village Center” at approximately 28.52 acres calls for a 48,000 sq. ft. assisted living and hospice center, a community center and 380 senior apartments, ranch-style condominiums and townhome flats. The “Village Annex” project will be situated on 20.45 acres and will contain 87 senior condos, carriage house villas and senior cottages. The proposal included parks, gardens and a community center.

The unanimous approval by commissioners came with a number of conditions.

The second rezoning request was for Arbor Springs Village located on Arbor Springs Parkway in north Coweta.

The site includes 27 acres and will feature 78 courtyard-style, single-family homes for independent living.

The layout of the village allows for the homes to be designed in an intimate cluster format of 78 homes but with amenities that match the social interests of the market including a clubhouse, gardens, walking and golf cart paths along with a premier golf course, the application said.

The proposal with conditions received unanimous approval.

The third rezoning request dealt with a 24.27-acre tract at Redwine Plantation Drive and Happy Valley Circle.

The conceptual site plan showed a proposed active adult community with 42 total units which include a 2,200 sq. ft. minimum. Several pedestrian paths, gardens, passive parks and dog walks will be located throughout the neighborhood.

Landscape architect Dennis Drewyer said there is a good market for the development, adding that dozens of Redwine Plantation residents are waiting to move in the new section.

As with the other two proposals, the Redwine request came with conditions and unanimous approval.