‘Urban’ zones planned for West F’ville

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The annexation last fall of 1,200 acres on Fayetteville’s west side was followed by an initial look at the potential for a new way of zoning the large acreage that surrounds Piedmont Fayette Hospital and extends to the Pinewood Atlanta Studios property to the north.

The Fayetteville City Council at its Feb. 25 retreat got a fresh look at the zoning proposal that could be up for discussion and a vote in the coming months.

City Community Development Director Brian Wismer said that following the announcement last year by Pinewood Atlanta Studios of their plans to locate in Fayette County, staff began working on the development of a master zoning and land-use plan for the surrounding area (now known as the West Fayetteville area) in an effort to control and guide anticipated development interest. Largely comprised of the newly annexed property, but also encompassing the Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Togwatee Shopping Center, the goal of the master plan is to encourage balanced growth, Wismer said.

“Since then, the consulting firm Historical Concepts, along with the Atlanta Regional Commission, city staff and Fayette County Development Authority staff has worked together to develop a zoning and land use plan that will guide future, quality growth in this area of the city. The culmination of these efforts is the (proposed) West Fayetteville Planned Community District (WFPCD) ordinance,” Wismer said.

The WFCD covers the 1,200 acres annexed into the city last fall and extends on the north side of Ga. Highway 54 from Tyrone Road on the west to east of Sandy Creek Road. The annexed area also extends north to the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road.

The result of the collaboration led to the proposal for a new zoning code, essentially a hybrid zoning code that will address the unique goals of the West Fayetteville community, Wismer said.

The WFCD proposal utilizes transect zoning, a type of zoning new to Fayetteville. Transect zoning replaces conventional separated-use zoning systems that have encouraged a car-dependent culture and land-consuming sprawl. Transect zones instead provide the basis for real neighborhood structure, which requires walkable streets, mixed use, transportation options and housing diversity. The zones vary by the ratio and level of intensity of their natural, built and social components, according to www.transect.org

The proposed zoning ordinance shows a mix of “T2 Rural” space along with “T3 Sub-Urban,” “T4A and T4B General Urban,” “T5 Urban Center” and SD (Special Uses). The conceptual vision lays out the designated development areas and a proposed street network in each, and includes only a general conception of the types of development that might be situated on the properties.

The proposal also includes a much smaller area not included in the annexation plans. That area is situated along the south side of Hwy. 54 from the Sandy Creek Road to the east and extending to Veterans Parkway to the west.

T2 Rural areas would include sparsely settled land in open or cultivated states. These include woodland, agricultural land and grassland. Typical buildings would include 1- or 2-story farmhouses, agricultural buildings, cabins and villas.

T2-zoned property would be located on the far east and northeast sides of the annexed area.

T3 Sub-Urban areas would consist of low-density residential areas adjacent to higher zones that have some mixed use. Home occupations and outbuildings would allowed. Setbacks would be relatively deep while blocks might be large and roads irregular to accommodate natural conditions. Parks and greenways would be included in the T3 areas and building heights would include 1- or 2-story structures with some 3-story buildings.

T3 properties would be located on the east and west sides of the annexed acreage.

T4A General Urban would consist of lower-scale, mixed-use development that supports the T3 zone. Retail, office and various types of residential structures would be included. Structures would include one or two stories and would feature shallow to medium front and side yard setbacks.

T4B General Urban would consist of a variety of residential and non-residential uses with 2- to 3-story structures. Building types would tend toward more urban forms. Streets would be laid out in grids and with buildings set somewhat close to or abutting sidewalks.

T4A and T4B properties would be located north of Veterans Parkway and south of Pinewood and would span the areas along the north and south sides of Hwy.54.

T5 Urban Center areas would consist of higher density mixed-use buildings to accommodate retail, offices, townhouses and apartments of 2-5 stories in height. This area would have a tight network of streets and wide sidewalks.

T5 properties would be located on the north side of Hwy. 54 to the west of Piedmont Fayette Hospital and, to a lesser extent, on the frontage area on the south side of Hwy. 54 and to the east of Veterans Parkway.

A final zoning category, SD, would feature structures of 1-5 stories and would include the areas of Pinewood Atlanta Studios and a portion of the property north of Hwy. 54 and west of Veterans Parkway.

Action by the council, if any, will come at a later date.