The Lafayette Senior Village development made its way through the process and received unanimous approval June 16 from the Fayetteville City Council.
Construction on the age-restricted residential development along Ga. Highway 54 at The Villages could begin as early as the first quarter of 2012.
A project of the Beverly J. Searles Foundation, the development on 11 acres just west of Lafayette Avenue and Hwy. 54 will occur in three phases and will be restricted to individuals aged 55 and above. All of the approximately 188 units will require independent living arrangements, Searles representatives said.
The first phase will be situated in the area closest to Hwy. 54 and will include a 120,000 square-foot building of 3-4 stories, depending on topography, that will contain approximately 80 one- and two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom apartment and other amenities.
Phase two will be situated immediately to the north and will include a similar but somewhat smaller building at 106,000 square feet, also outfitted with a similar number of apartments. The two buildings will be adjacent and will share a large landscaped courtyard.
Phase three will be located on the north and northwest portions of the property and is proposed for a later date to include seven buildings with a total of 28 cottage-style attached units of approximately 1,000 square feet each.
Searles’ representatives June 16 reiterated that all the residential rental units would be deed-restricted with no children allowed. Residents would be allowed to have visitors for a maximum of two weeks, adding that the property would have a renters’ association. Project representatives also noted that Section 8 housing would not be allowed.
The site plan shows parking for 173 vehicles at build-out, with project representatives adding that approximately half the occupants at the other Searles’ developments actively drive their vehicles.
The Planned Community Development-zoned area requires 20 percent open space. The site plan for the senior village shows approximately 40 percent open space.
Project representatives said a portion of the funding for the development will use available tax credits, with construction for phase one potentially getting underway in the first or second quarter of 2012.
The council prior to the vote heard from two area residents. One expressed concern about the height of buildings while the other, architect and neighborhood resident Jeremy Summer said he believed the development was a good project for seniors and the community and that it would help draw needed commercial development to the designated commercial area situated between Lafayette Avenue and the Hampton Inn.
The 11-acre site had originally been zoned for office space. Noting the affects of the recession, city representatives have said on several occasions that a large surplus of office space currently exists within the city.