Will F’ville allow more townhomes? Vote is Thursday

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After multiple meetings, discussions and sometimes heated rhetoric, Fayetteville’s City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday night on adding 33 townhomes on the city’s eastern side.

The owners of the Cobblestone Apartments on the city’s eastern side wants to add the townhomes to a 5-acre lot, on the south side of Ga. Highway 54 east, and have the property rezoned from commercial to multi-family zoning.

In January, Will Kilgore, who represented Cobblestone’s owners, said the company acquired the tract in 2013 and decided the best use for the property was residential, instead of commercial.

“We’re seeing the younger demographics yearning for places to rent, because that’s all they have known,” Kilgore said.

But the residents of the Oakbrook subdivision, who live directly behind the vacant land, saw things through a different lens.

“We have a nice little neighborhood right now. If this is built, our neighborhood would be overflow parking for them,” said Jim Anderson.

Annette Chamber’s main concern was adding capacity to the city’s sewer system.

“We do not need any additional water in the area. We have hardly a day without a smell from the system. The manholes have blown up twice and we’ve had toilet paper in the trees,” she said.

In its packet of information concerning the rezoning, the City Council received a memo from the city’s public service director, Chris Hindman, who said the city is working to cut down on the odor.

“Although the proposed development is different from the original use planned for this property (residential vs. commercial), the property to the east of the subject property was also granted a zoning different from its originally intended use as development patterns were established and market conditions changed. The subject property is adjacent to other RMF-15 property and if approved, will be developed and managed as one project. Based on the findings within the Comp Plan and the limited use of the property as currently zoned, staff supports an approval of the rezoning as requested,” said Wismer.

“After investigating the sewer system infrastructure, city staff has concluded that the existing capacity of the line and lift station are currently at about a quarter of the capacity,” Hindman said.

“For the sewer line, this would be approximately 238 gpm flow in the line. Based upon the conceptual flows of the proposed development of 9 gpm that would increase the flow to 247 gpm. This is still just over a quarter of the 950 gpm flow that the line could handle.

“The flow from the development will be more thoroughly reviewed if the development moves forward with the development phase of the proposed project. Concerning the odor concern, the City has worked with different processes to try to control the out-gassing which occurs at the lift station. This out gassing is caused by a lift station located upstream from the subdivision and is not part of the gravity sewer line which the proposed development would be using,” Hindman said.

“The city is currently pumping a chemical into the upstream lift station in an effort to control the odor complaints. The cost is approximately $15,000 per year to pump the chemicals into the system. We will continue to investigate other methods of operation or chemical treatment in an effort to control the odors within the area,” wrote Hindman.

In November, the Planning Commission sent an unfavorable recommendation to the City Council on the proposal.

In his comments to the council, Director of Community Services Brian Wismer advocated approving the rezoning.

The meeting is at Fayetteville City Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday night.