F’ville moves toward novel zoning categories for west side

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Fayetteville could soon see zoning categories that have never been used in the city or in Fayette County.

During the Jan. 15 meeting, the council received an overview of Historical Concepts’ plan of the proposed zoning districts in the area. The district is a mixed use area of 1,200 acres in the heart of the county now in the city limits of Fayetteville.

The district’s boundaries extend on the north side of Ga. Highway 54 from Tyrone Road on the west to east of Sandy Creek Road to the east. The newly annexed area also extends north to the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road.

The new zoning district was first brought before the council in early 2014 and 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.

Last year, the zoning proposal featured six different categories. But, the city’s director of community development, Brian Wismer, said the number has now been reduced to three.

“We didn’t want to pigeonhole development in this area,” he added.

The new districts include a T3 category that allows four units per acre and no commercial. This area would center on the northern boundary of the district.

The T4 category, which is the majority of the area, allows for mixed uses and allows six housing units per acre.

The final category is T5, which is the most urban of the areas, and would be located near Piedmont Fayette Hospital. The district allows two- to five-story buildings.

“This just makes it less complicated,” said Wismer.

In the report submitted to the council, the rationale for the district is made clear.

“The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage the best possible site planning and arrangement of land uses under a unified plan of development. This ordinance sets forth a framework for pedestrian-scale traditional development that encourages residential and nonresidential activities to be arranged in such a way as to reduce the number and type of vehicle trips, limiting congestion and thereby improving air quality. Development should be arranged to set aside areas for recreation and open space while providing for varied forms of multi-modal movement.”

Mixed use developments residents might be familiar with include Atlantic Station in Atlanta and Seaside on the Florida Gulf Coast. The developments feature a mixture of live, work and play components and are becoming a favorite of the millennial generation, which is a group the county is making a concerted effort to lure back home.

The council is expected to eventually create an ordinance out of the plan.