Housing development increasing
Available housing in downtown Dahlonega could grow by 200 beds as the members of the Dahlonega Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved local businesswoman Roberta Garrett’s application to expand Willow Trace Apartments last Monday.
The Clark Drive and Warrick Street development will increase by 28 units.
Represented by John Gaston during the Dahlonega Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Garrett’s application dealt with the rezoning of several tracts of land as Planned Unit Development (PUD).
Garrett recently acquired the adjoining Willow Trace Apartments, a parcel from the University of North Georgia and 1.56 acres from the Hood Family.
The application requested the rezoning of 17.52 acres to PUD at a density of 11.9 units per acre.
At the meeting, Gaston noted that all the units will be placed within the development and will be accessed by existing roads. The intended use of the development is for University of North Georgia student and faculty housing. Gaston stated that tenants would be able to easily walk from the development to campus.
Adjoining property owners Therrell West and Darrell West stated they would like to see the old cut thru access between the projects remain closed.
“There are 200 plus cars a day,” said Darrell West. “Traffic is my biggest concern.”
City Planning and Zoning Administrator Chris Head informed the two property owners that the item is under review by City Engineer Mark Buchanan and that the curb cut may be reopened for full access or for emergency use only.
“The applicant has chosen to keep the access closed,” said City Manager Bill Schmid. “But, as a necessity, the public could benefit from having two access points. It is reasonable for it to be open.”
Planning and Zoning Commission member Winn Crannell made a motion to approve the rezoning. Head recommended that the commission add conditions that the new building architectural standards be similar to the existing buildings, that there be one parking spot per bedroom and that Garrett be responsible for water and sewer improvements to include pump station improvements. Crannell agreed to amend his motion to include the conditions.
After Crannell’s motion was amended to fit Head’s recommendations, Anthony Faiis seconded Crannell’s motion and the motion passed unanimously by the rest of the commission members present.
“This recommendation will be forwarded to City Council who will hear it at their next meeting,” said Dahlonega Planning and Zoning chairman Robert Conaway.