While you were Christmas shopping, Fayetteville Council OK’d movie studios expansion, sewer extension

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After receiving state approval for the large development related to Trilith Studios, the Fayetteville City Council on Dec. 15 approved annexations of 24 acres and 14.5 acres along Sandy Creek Road and multiple rezonings on 252 acres along Veterans Parkway.

It’s all part of Trilith growth plans “to allow for additional studio and production space and associated infrastructure and to further refine the type and size of future buildings within the overall development,” according to council minutes of the Dec. 15 meeting.

Included in the project was the state requirement for multiple road and intersection improvements with the costs to be shared by Fayetteville, Fayette County and Trilith.

In addition, the council approved a $3.9 million contract “for the West Side Gravity Sewer Extension Project which will provide sewer for the West Fayetteville properties” with 8,326 feet of new sewer line to serve what’s coming in the Trilith area.

Councilman Scott Stacy asked about who was paying for the sewer expansion, he was told that was still under discussion. Stacy voted against the project, but the other four council members voted to approve the expansion.

The entire Trilith discussion before council is reproduced below from the Dec. 15 meeting minutes:

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-19-22 – A request from Trilith Development, LLC to rezone Parcel Nos. 0705 002 (±110 acres) and 0705 022 (±32 acres) located on the west side of Veterans Parkway. Parcel 0705 022 and ±61 acres of Parcel 0705 002 are currently zoned R-70 Single Family Residential, while the remaining ±49 acres of Parcel 0705 002 are zoned BP Business Park. The Applicant desires to rezone the property to PCD Planned Community District.

David Rast explained the proposed rezoning was discussed in a Public Hearing at the September 15 City Council meeting. At that time, the property was included within a larger assemblage of properties and a master site plan which was under review associated with Development of Regional Impact (DRI) 3776, therefore, Staff could not recommend approval and City Council could not take final action until the Notice of Decision (NOD) was received from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA). Mr. Rast informed Council the NOD was received on December 9, 2022.

Mr. Rast stated, with the DRI was complete, the rezoning request could again be presented before Council for final action to be taken. He represented both Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation of approval for this request with the following conditions:

1. The Future Land Use Map shall be amended to include this tract within the Innovation Mixed Use Activity Center.

2. Any development on this tract shall be subject to the understandings and conditions adopted as a part of the amended PCD master site plan, zoning conditions and associated Development Agreement for the Town at Trilith/Trilith Studios/Trilith South.

There were no public comments.

Stacy moved to approve #0-19-22 with all conditions. Langford seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-20-22 – A request from the Georgia Military College Foundation Inc. on behalf of Trilith Development, LLC to rezone Parcel No. 0705 023 (±7.89 acres) from R-70 Single Family Residential to OI Office and Institutional. Property located at 216 South Sandy Creek Road.

Mr. Rast stated this rezoning request was also one which had previously been presented and tabled at the September 15 meeting until the NOD had been received. With completion of the DRI, the request is again presented before Council with recommendation of approval from Staff and PZC with the following conditions:

1. The Future Land Use Map shall be amended to include this tract within the Innovation Mixed Use Activity Center.

2. Any development on this tract shall be subject to the understandings and conditions adopted as a part of the amended PCD master site plan, zoning conditions and associated Development Agreement for the Town at Trilith/Trilith Studios/Trilith South.

There were no public comments.

Hoffman moved to approve #0-20-22 with all conditions. Glover seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-22-22 – A request from the Georgia Military College Foundation, Inc. on behalf of Trilith Development, LLC to rezone Parcel No. 0528 042 (±2.0 acres) from R-70 Single Family Residential to OI Office and Institutional. Property located at 216 South Sandy Creek Road.

Mr. Rast again explained that this request was previously presented and placed on hold until DRI was complete. He recapped that the applicants desire is to rezone the undeveloped 2.00-acre tract from R- 70 Single Family Residential to OI Office institutional. The zoning as proposed is consistent with the existing OI zoning to the south and the pending OI zoning to the north. Mr. Rast stated that Staff and PZC recommend approval of the request with the following conditions:

1. The Future Land Use Map shall be amended to include this tract within the Innovation Mixed Use Activity Center.

2. Any development on this tract shall be subject to the understandings and conditions adopted as a part of the amended PCD master site plan, zoning conditions and associated Development Agreement for the Town at Trilith/Trilith Studios/Trilith South.

There were no public comments.

Glover moved to approve #0-22-22 with all conditions. Clark seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinances #0-23-22 and #0-24-22 – A request from Trilith Development, LLC to annex Parcel Nos. 0706 016 and 0706 001B (+/- 24.30 acres) into the City of Fayetteville (Ordinance 0- 23-22) and to rezone both properties from R-70 Single Family Residential (unincorporated Fayette County) to PCD Planned Community District (Ordinance 0-24-22). Properties located at 566 and 568 Sandy Creek Road.

David Rast presented the request from Trilith Development for annexation and rezoning of +/- 24.30 acres into the city. Mr. Rast recapped the history of this request which has already been presented for step one and step two. He stated City Staff supports the annexation and rezoning request which aligns with the goals and objectives adopted as a part of the 2022 Update to the Comprehensive Plan and the Innovation Mixed Use Activity Center. The recommendation for approval has been made with the following conditions:

1. The subject parcels shall be designated as Innovation Mixed Use Activity Center on the Future Land Use Map.

2. It is understood the annexation and rezoning is subject to any conditions adopted as a part of the overall rezoning of the Town at Trilith/Trilith Studios/Trilith South tracts and the associated Development Agreements.

There were no public comments.

Hoffman moved to approve #0-23-22 (annexation). Clark seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Clark moved to approve #0-24-22 (rezoning) with all conditions. Stacy seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-25-22 and Ordinance #0-26-22 – A request from Trilith Development, LLC to annex Parcel Nos. 0705 011, 0705 013, 0705 014 and 0705 017 (±14.58 acres) into the City of Fayetteville (Ordinance 0-25-22) and to rezone the properties from R-70 Single Family Residential (unincorporated Fayette County) to PCD Planned Community District (Ordinance 0-26- 22). Properties located on Veterans Parkway across from South Sandy Creek Road.

Mr. Rast stated that this request has also been previously presented for step one and two of the annexation process. He explained the applicant, Trilith Studios, is requesting for annexation and rezoning of +/- 14.58 acres into the city with the new zoning of PCD. Staff and PZC have recommended approval of the request with the following conditions:

1. The subject parcels shall be designated as Innovation Mixed Use Activity Center on the Future Land Use Map.

2. It is understood the annexation and rezoning is subject to any conditions adopted as a part of the overall rezoning of the Town at Trilith/Trilith Studios/Trilith South tracts and the associated Development Agreements.

There were no public comments.

Stacy moved to approve #0-25-22 (annexation). Clark seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Langford moved to approve #0-26-22 (rezoning) with all conditions. Hoffman seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-31-22 – A request from Trilith Development, LLC to amend the previously approved PCD Planned Community District zoning designation and associated master site plan for the Town at Trilith and Trilith Studios Expansion tracts adjoining Veterans Parkway, Sandy Creek Road and South Sandy Creek Road.

David Rast expressed that Trilith Development is requesting a modification to the existing zoning to allow for additional studio and production space and associated infrastructure and to further refine the type and size of future buildings within the overall development. With their annexation and rezoning requests approved at tonight’s meeting, the total site area for the overall development would encompass ±913.95 acres.

The overall ±913.95-acre Town at Trilith/Trilith Studios/Trilith South mixed-use development consists of the following parcels:

Parcels 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 will be known as Trilith Studios/Trilith South and will occupy ±678.86-acres of the overall Trilith mixed-use development. The property will include freestanding movie and television production facilities, sound stages and associated office space, freestanding innovation and office buildings, and warehouse, production and storage buildings.

Staff recommends the amendment to the current zoning PCD zoning for the overall Trilith mixed-use development be approved subject to the following understandings and conditions:

1. The zoning amendment shall be limited to those parcels and uses identified within the DRI Site Plan (dated 10-13-22).

2. It is understood approval of the DRI Site Plan and as amended to comply with any conditions of zoning shall be considered approval of the conceptual site plan, thereby waiving the requirement for further site plan review by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

3. It is understood those transportation enhancements included within Attachment “A” of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority’s (GRTA) Notice of Decision (NOD) associated with DRI #2480 Pinewood Atlanta Studios (dated May 13, 2015) but not yet implemented, as well as those transportation enhancements identified within Attachment “A” of GRTA’s NOD for DRI #3776 Trilith Expansion (dated December 8, 2022) will be implemented in phases as the overall development progresses. Such traffic enhancements were imposed as conditions by GRTA on both DRIs which includes Parcels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 as shown on the DRI Site Plan.

4. Conditions of “Attachment A” for both DRIs will be implemented in phases as the overall development progresses. Specifically, the implementation of such conditions will be based on the results of a periodic traffic warrant study, conducted by an independent party and paid for by the developer of the affected properties, as thresholds of 20% increments of the overall development are completed. The thresholds of 20% increments are based on the total square footage projected at build out, as defined within DRI #2480 and DRI # 3776. The purpose of this warrant study will be to determine whether or not the projected traffic counts of DRI #2480 and DRI #3776 are being reached. If the study shows that traffic volumes are less than originally projected, the developer may request that the City petition GRTA for an amendment to any of the required conditions listed in “Attachment A”. The City may petition GRTA for an amendment at its sole discretion. Separately, the implementation of conditions that call for specific driveway alignment and lane improvements shall only be required as part of the development of those specific parcels serving those driveways.

5. It is further understood the transportation enhancements shall be designed, constructed and funded based upon a cost sharing agreement between Trilith Development, LLC, the City of Fayetteville, and Fayette County, or their successors in interest, and shall be based on each party’s pro-rata share of traffic trips generated by each development or existing need based upon the information analyzed by GRTA. If the City or County is unable to make clear title to any right-of-way or easements required for construction of the improvements available, the City agrees to petition GRTA for an amendment to the requirement for construction of improvements. The parties shall work to develop a cost sharing agreement which shall include, at a minimum, prior infrastructure commitments, thresholds for implementation and funding responsibilities, including financial contributions from developments proposed in other nearby DRI projects and a timeline for payments to the City. Said agreement document shall be finalized and presented to the City Council for approval prior to submittal of site development plans for any development proposed on Parcels 5 and 6. Land Disturbance Permits (“LDP”) can only be issued by the City for development proposed on Parcels 5 and 6 after said cost sharing agreement document is approved by the City Council, if applicable.

6. It is understood development within Parcels 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 (Trilith Studios Expansion) and Parcel 4 (Town at Trilith) shall be subject to Development Agreements specific to each portion of the development.

Councilmember Hoffman inquired about the building height as stated in the agreement in regards to the proposed penthouse. Hoffman asked if the penthouse would be in addition to the 90ft or it would remain under 90ft.

Applicant, Rich Halbert, clarified that it would be a total of 90ft with the penthouse included. He stated the penthouse would be included on the Trilith Live side of the development and would not surpass the building height of 90ft.

Hoffman then inquired about the possibility of double a silk fence being installed for phase 2 of the development, which is to begin in the near future, to ensure protection from any runoff for those that live in the surrounding area.

Mr. Halbert agreed to this and ensured council that they would do all they can do to eliminate any runoff that they can.

There were no public comments.

Hoffman moved to approve #0-31-22 with all conditions. Langford seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-32-22 – Amendments to the existing Development Agreement for the Town at Trilith within the Trilith mixed-use development as it relates to the amended PCD zoning and associated site plan as well as the findings within the Notice of Decision associated with DRI #3776 – Trilith Expansion.

David Rast stated as a part of the amendments to the existing PCD zoning designation related to the proposed expansion of the overall Trilith mixed-use development, the existing Development Agreement for Parcel 4 as shown on the DRI Site Plan – Trilith Expansion and known as the Town at Trilith has been amended.

Mr. Rast expressed these amendments are primarily for housekeeping purpose but are also intended to reference transportation enhancements, permitted uses and densities, and other project-related responsibilities in accordance with the recently approved Notice of Decision. Mr. Rast also stated the current agreement can be interpreted in multiple ways in regards to building height and that these amendments will correct this problem and establish clear regulations. Staff recommends adoption of #0-32-22 to amend the Development Agreement which will apply specifically to Parcel 4 as identified within DRI #3776 – Trilith Expansion.

Mayor Johnson asked if Council would be notified in adequate time upon the request of a new variance since they are granted only a 10-day time limit to intercede.

Mr. Rast and Mr. Gibson ensured council that they would be informed upon any new variance requests. There were no public comments.

Hoffman moved to approve #0-32-22 with all conditions. Langford seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Johnson called: Consider Ordinance #0-33-22 – Adoption of Development Agreement for the Trilith Studios Expansion within the Trilith mixed-use development as it relates to the amended PCD zoning and associated site plan as well as the findings within the Notice of Decision associated with DRI #3776 – Trilith Expansion.

Mr. Rast explained that the studio portion of the development has not fallen under a Development Agreement in the past but instead has followed the Development Standards for Film and Television Production Facilities Uses adopted as a part of the initial PCD zoning for Pinewood Studios. These standards have been incorporated into the new Development Agreement, in addition to other items specific to transportation enhancements, permitted uses and densities, and other project-related responsibilities.

Staffs recommendation for this request is to adopt this Development Agreement which will apply specifically to Parcels 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 as identified within DRI #3776 – Trilith Expansion.

Mayor Johnson asked for clarification on the language change from “stories” to “levels”.

Mr. Rast explained that “levels” would include each floor of the building whereas “stories” would only include the levels which are at/above grade level.

There were no public comments.

Hoffman moved to approve #0-33-22 with all conditions. Glover seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

1 COMMENT

  1. How much did this cost tax payers?

    Stacy asks who is paying for sewer-told it is under discussion. Then it is passed by everyone but him??

    How do you pass a motion to implement a project this big with the source of revenue “under discussion”???