The Fayette County Board of Commissioners approved amendments to land use plans to allow construction of a business technology park on the west side of S.R. 74, which would be a mix of industrial research and development offices and a small amount of light commercial services, such as salons and small restaurants. The amendment is contingent on the town of Tyrone’s approval of the changes.
Commissioner Eric Maxwell refused to back the amendments plan and said the only benefit would be the creation of jobs.
“To suggest that putting commercial development on the highway just on the southside of Fairburn where it’s already an abomination and say that that’s going to help out traffic is absolutely ridiculous,” said Maxwell. “I believe that at this point you can tell the difference going from Fayette County to Fairburn and in four years if this thing is passed and the economy turns around you will not know the difference between Fulton County and Fayette County.”
Residents in the Cherokee Hills, Oakcliff Estates and Sequoyah Woods subdivisions overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to become part of Doraville. Seventy-nine percent opposed the second annexation vote – which would have boosted Doraville’s population by about 65 percent to 17,000 residents.
The November annexation vote failed by just 34 votes, but was marred by ballot problems, prompting the second vote.
The Avondale Estates City Council votes tonight on a conditional permit to allow development of a mixed-use project anchored by Publix at a four-block area just east from its Tudor-style downtown. The public meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Avondale City Hall in North Avondale Plaza.
Residents with Peachtree Park Civic Association are negotiating a code of conduct contract with radio personality Frank Ski’s Kolor, a high-end night club and restaurant seeking a permanent address in Buckhead.
If approved, the club would be located in the Buckhead Square shopping center at the corner of Peachtree Road and Piedmont Avenue. Kolor’s 15,000-square-foot facility, if built, will face the wooded backyards of homes in the neighborhood.
Kolor faces united opposition from its neighbors. NPU-B recommended denial of a liquor license and both Buckhead Forest Civic Associationand Peachtree Park Civic Association have vowed to oppose the club’s opening.
Negoitations between the club and the neighbors are scheduled to end January 31.
Looking down the double-barrel of a petition signed by 341 citizens and a crowded room, the Roswell City Council unanimously rejected a plan to allow cell towers at the fire station on Jones Road and Lake Charles Drive. T-Mobile South applied to the city to lease land at the fire station to erect a 150-foot cell tower.
Government and public properties are currently acceptable sites for cell towers under the city’s zoning ordinance. On February 9, the City Council will vote on amendment to the wireless communication facility master plan striking the fire station from the list of acceptable sites for cell towers and will approve existing cell towers in annexed areas, commercial and industrial zoning and government sites.
Drivers along the US 41 Corridor can expect to see a new high-tech digital billboard within the city limits of Cartersville with the approval of a variance. Cartersville Board of Zoning Appeals has approved a variance to allow the digital billboard even though it does not meet the city’s sign ordinance. The sign will also be slightly bigger than the regulated 300 square feet allowed by the city and closer to the roadway than the required setback of at least 100 feet.
The new billboard will would be located about 15 feet somewhere along a 3.39 acre plot of land on a stretch of N. Morningside Drive, near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
“Our code dates back from the 1950s with an update in the ’90s,” District 6 County Commissioner Kathie Gannon said. “We have no code to fit the kind of development we want in DeKalb County.” “[The current code] is a very suburban code. We need something that matches our urban setting,” she said.
To recognize DeKalb’s new urbanism, the county hired Atlanta-based engineering, planning and construction management firm Pond & Co. to oversee the zoning law makeover.
As the law stands now, if a developer wants to construct a large mixed-use development — for example, to combine residential and retail in a manner similar to Atlanta’s Atlantic Station — a developer must make multiple zoning applications in DeKalb.
Special land use permits are required to build anything typically taller than three stories. Variances are needed for everything from parking to sidewalks and street buffers and must go through the zoning Board of Appeals.
The new code should streamline the process. “The code is being rewritten to implement the vision of the adopted 2007 DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan which encourages mixed use activity centers and encourages redevelopment of declining commercial corridors while protecting established single-family neighborhoods,” said DeKalb County spokeswoman Kristie Swink.
The first draft of the new code will be released in mid-February.
The Milton City Council is reportedly split with four council members labeled by “pro-development” and three criticized as “anti-development”. With two of the “pro-development” faction absent, the so-called “anti-development” members held the majority and substantially scaled-down a popular rezoning project that would allow Realtor Larry Singleton to expand a proposed high-end decoration and furniture shop on Ga. 9 from 18,000 square feet to 28,000 square feet. Milton’s city planning staff had signed off on it, and the Planning Commission had blessed it as well.
But the proposal met trouble when it reached the City Council, which approved the plan 3-2, but imposed several conditions. The council rejected the increase in size, demanded more trees be planted to replace ones that would be cut down and banned a long list of potential uses for the property. Motions, votes, and conditions outlined on pages 3-6 of the meeting minutes found here.
The project’s supporters felt the changes weren’t fair, so they ended up voting against the proposal and now want a do-over. Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood leads the call for the do-over.
“We want to preserve Milton and keep it like it is, but this was in an existing commercial area,” Lockwood said. “With these tough economic times, with potential cutbacks on services and revenue down and not being able to raise taxes, I think it’s important that we do let development occur where development is allowed.”
The proposal for a new coal power plant in Early County Coal appears to be dead. Dynegy Inc., the Texas-based energy company that proposed what would’ve been Georgia’s first new coal power plant in 20 years, announced today that it has pulled out of the project.
From a company press release:
Dynegy Inc. (NYSE:DYN) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with LS Power Associates, L.P. to dissolve the two companies’ development joint venture. Under the terms of the dissolution, Dynegy will acquire exclusive rights, ownership and developmental control of all repowering or expansion opportunities related to its existing portfolio of operating assets. LS Power will acquire full ownership and developmental rights associated with various “greenfield” projects under consideration in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Nevada, as well as other power generation and transmission development projects not related to Dynegy’s existing operating portfolio of assets.
The development landscape has changed significantly since we agreed to enter into the development joint venture with LS Power in the fall of 2006,” said Bruce A. Williamson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dynegy Inc. “Today, the development of new generation is increasingly marked by barriers to entry including external credit and regulatory factors that make development much more uncertain. In light of these market circumstances, Dynegy has elected to focus development activities and investments around our own portfolio where we control the option to develop and can manage the costs being incurred more closely.
Litigation over the proposed coal plant generated national headlines and new law when a Fulton County Superior Court Judge concluded Carbon Dioxide was regulated by the Clean Air Act. That decision remains on appeal before the Georgia Court of Appeals. It is unclear how the abandonment of the coal plant proposal will impact the pending litigation.