On Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. the Zoning Board will once again consider the request for annexation into the city of Fayetteville the property adjacent to Ingles south of the city. This is the first step in the requested construction of high density housing on this property.
The current proposal calls for 233-plus homes at a density of 6 homes per acre. This requested rezoning is in direct conflict with both the intended use of this property per the Southside Development Agreement and is not in keeping with the surrounding residential developments.
Fayette County residents have turned out en masse in past meetings only to have the proposal tabled by the developer. Citizens have raised the following concerns:
· Traffic – Although a residential area should present less total traffic than a successful commercial development, a residential development’s traffic flow is concentrated to traditional commuting hours versus spread out over a business day as commercial traffic would be.
This development will add another potential 460 cars in rush hour on a section of road that is already overtaxed by existing traffic during multiple hours of the day. Fayetteville studies have predicted that potential residents of this development will be employed north of Fayetteville, thus bringing all of this new traffic onto Ga. Highway 85 North and through the city square. This is already one of the most congested areas in our county.
· School system expansion – in a letter dated Nov. 14, 2016, signed by both Marion Key (board chair) and Joseph Barrow (superintendent), the Board of Education estimates the cost to the Fayette County taxpayers to expand the schools to serve the students from just this new development would be as follows: Inman Elementary, $1.5 million, and Whitewater High School, $4.5 million.
That is $6 million in cost left to be born by the taxpayers of the county and not by the developer.
· High density housing is currently being developed or exists in several areas to the west, east and north of the county. Residents of these developments will not have to travel through the downtown area to go to work and will not burden already crowded schools on the southside. These areas already provide affordable housing solutions for millennials who want to move to the Fayette County.
The southside has so far maintained its rural nature and appeal. This is due to the zoning that has been in effect since we moved to this area over 30 years ago. Approving high density housing in this part of the county will open the floodgates to other developers who are already looking to cash in, installing high density housing in other green areas of the county, multiplying each of the problems mentioned above.
· Residents have offered several suggested compromises that would reduce the density of the project and the impact of the project on the lives and property values of those people already living in the area.
This vote and this project will set a precedent as to what will happen to the southside of Fayette County. It is important that each citizen makes his/her voice heard simply by attending this meeting.
The address for City Hall is 240 Glenn St. Please come to this meeting to visibly show the zoning board that we are against this rezoning and high density development.