Fayetteville privatizes planning

Everything old is new again in Fayetteville.
The Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously Thursday to spend $148,000 with The Collaborative Firm to aid with the city’s planning efforts. The person who will assist the city is Jahnee Prince, who served as the city’s planning director from 2001-2005.
The contract provides the city with a planning director for 20 hours per week, along with a senior planner for 20 hours per week.
City Manager Ray Gibson also explained the city has to complete a comprehensive plan update by June 30, 2017. If the Atlanta Regional Commission provides assistance in compiling the update, the city will pay The Collaborative Firm $38,000 to assist with the plan. If the commission does not provide assistance, the firm would be paid $49,000.
The Collaborative Firm, established in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2001, provides its clients an array of expertise in urban planning, program management, engineering support and architectural services. The firm was founded by former Fulton County Commissioner Michael Hightower,
In other business, the city tabled the rezoning request by Rea Associates until December 1.
The proposal would establish an apartment complex called Abbington Square to house apartments along with limited retail on the first floor facing North Glynn Street. The property is situated on 4.6 acres downtown, within a block of the downtown courthouse square.
The request for the property would have it rezoned from C-1 (commercial) to PCD (planned community development). Plans call for 93 percent of the apartments to be one or two bedroom units. Rents will run from $640 per month to $1,200 per month.
Amenties would include an art/studio space, business center, fitness center, a community garden, Energy Star appliances and washer-dryer hookups.
Access to the development would be by way of Lafayette Avenue only, according to city planning staff.
The proposal has come under fire because of its plan to provide affordable housing in Fayetteville through the use of federal tax credits.