Plan calls for 265 homes, commercial space plus 40 condos above retail stores
A rezoning request for the Folia Crossroads mixed-use development proposed for Ga. Highway 54 West in Fayetteville received a unanimous favorable vote by the Fayetteville City Council on Aug. 2. Neighbors separated from the proposed development by Lake Bennett spoke against the rezoning about the need for a 100-foot buffer.
The second public hearing and vote followed previous presentations before the City Council and Planning Commission.
The development proposal, which will now undergo the exacting development process, includes a maximum of 265 single-family homes, 170,000 sq. ft. of varied commercial space, 40 condos above retail and 40 percent open space on the 145-acre site fronting both Hwy. 54 West and South Sandy Creek Road.
Planned commercial uses various restaurants, retail, a 125-room boutique hotel and a grocery store and 24-hour pharmacy for which a 25 percent discount off the pad price will be available at the time of inquiry.
What concerned neighbors from the Crystal Lake subdivision, situated to the east and directly across Lake Bennett from the development, dealt essentially with what they repeatedly reiterated was the need for a 100-foot buffer fronting the lake to prevent stormwater runoff issues that could jeopardize the lake.
Sandy Creek and Whitewater Creek flow into Lake Bennett.
Crystal Lake subdivision residents J.D. Holmes and Alice Brown-Rodriguez made lengthy presentations, repeatedly making the case for a 100-foot buffer.
Included in the wealth of data Holmes provided, he said his concerns over potential stormwater runoff issues from Folia came on the heels of recent silt runoff from Pinewood Forest to the north.
“(Pinewood Forest) is a Class A builder supposed to be complying with best management practices and they are about a mile from Lake Bennett,” said Holmes, asking what might happen with runoff issues with the Folia development that borders the lake.
Pinewood Forest representative Rick Halbert later in the meeting acknowledged the significant amount of rainfall in the area recently, adding that, “Silt doesn’t go downstream from us. It’s hard with a two-inch rain. We’re always quick to fix (a problem). We go over and beyond. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over what the plan calls for.”
Brown-Rodriguez in her comments also reiterated concerns about having anything less than a 100-foot buffer, questioning in several ways what the result would be if the steps taken did not work sufficiently.
Though few residents spoke on the proposal, there were a significant number in attendance.
Addressing resident concerns, council members noted that conditions for rezoning would require that substantial care and testing be applied to the lake. Mayor Ed Johnson said those requirements would be a benefit to the lake and to the property owners on both sides of the lake.
The state requires a 25-foot buffer, with the city adding as a condition of rezoning that an additional 25-foot buffer be established.
Another condition pertain to stormwater control compliance with items contained in the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual. Still other conditions include measures such as establishing bio-retention islands in the commercial areas, the use of pervious pavers in significant areas of the development, enhanced swales along the development’s main road, construction of linear parks for use as wetlands, a downstream hydrology analysis, the use of applicable federal flood restrictions, rainwater capture for irrigation and a $120,000 Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control maintenance bond.
Though the rezoning has been approved, the project to move forward will be subject to a number of meetings conducted by the Planning Commission in which the various requirements and conditions pertaining to development must be approved.
The 145-acre site was part of the 2013 annexation of 1,200 acres into Fayetteville. The Williams property, site of the Folia development, was designated at the time as one of a half-dozen “hamlets” that would be developed as mixed-use projects.