Neighborhood Planning Unit-B Chair Sally Silver and members of two of the organization’s committees seemed somewhat surprised when the developers of two controversial projects and their real estate attorneys showed up at Tuesday night’s meeting of the full board.
The reason for the surprise: Both developments had been thoroughly discussed and voted on the week before during a rare joint meeting of the NPU’s Zoning Committee and Development & Transportation Committee.
Since the committee votes on each were unanimous, they were placed on the consent agenda to be presented to the full board for a vote. Items on the committee consent agendas rarely allow for discussion before the full board prior to the vote.
First in the door at the NPU board meeting Tuesday night were developer R. Winston Smith and his attorney Douglas Dillard, who originally had sought to rezone the property at 0 and 721 Longleaf Drive to allow the building of 13 townhomes at the corner of Longleaf and Phipps Boulevard.
Smith, Dillard and the rest of the development team were told at the February meeting of the NPU Zoning Committee that the committee and the neighborhood would not accept 13 townhomes on the property, which is less than an acre. The neighborhood wanted no more than eight townhome units, but the committee said it might consider a compromise.
The applicant returned to the meeting on March 27, with a proposal for 11 townhomes, each 25 feet wide and with at least 3,000 square feet more open space and green space at Longleaf and Phipps Boulevard.
|Attorney Doug Dillard discussing Longleaf townhome plan|
with the NPU-B Zoning Committee in February.
The second development group to arrive at Tuesday’s full board meeting included Jeff Fuqua, Heather Correa and attorney Stephen Rothman, of Wilson Brock & Irby LLC, who had represented The Sembler Co. on March 27 in another ill-fated bid to get the NPU’s approval of a land use amendment to the 2011 Atlanta Comprehensive Development Plan for a commercial mixed-use development off Piedmont Road in the Lindbergh area.
|Heather Correa and Jeff Fuqua representing The Sembler Co.|
at the March 27 Development & Transportation Committee
meeting regarding the Lindbergh area CDP application.
The sticking point has been that Sembler first talked about putting a food supermarket in the development, which the NPU believes is needed in that location. However, the plan was later changed to a “big box” Wal-Mart super store containing a food market. The NPU has rejected the big box concept from the beginning.
|NPU-B committee members Bob Connelly, Cory Tibbs (center) and NPU|
chair Sally Silver discuss the Sembler proposal at the March 27 meeting.
Andrea Bennett, chair of the Development & Transportation Committee movedat that March 27 meeting to deny the requested CDP changes and the motion was again passed by her committee with a unanimous vote. Members of the Zoning Committee also were permitted to vote on the issue if they desired at the time and they voted 6 in favor of the motion, 2 against and 1 abstention.
|Andrea Bennett, chair of the Development &|
Transportation Committee urges denial.
One striking aspect of the presence by Sembler at both meetings was that Jeff Fuqua, the 24-year veteran developer of The Sembler Co. in the Atlanta market and Heather Correa, were actively involved in the presentation. It had been announced just the day before the Zoning Committee meeting that both Fuqua and Correa had left Sembler to form Fuqua Development Company.
At the end of the meeting, Sembler’s attorney Rothman asked Silver if the board was going to hear the zoning portion of the company’s application involving the Lindbergh area development. Silver said that since the CDP change had been denied there was no need for consideration of the requested zoning changes.
Other actions included on the Zoning Committee consent agenda—along with the Longleaf property rezoning--unanimously approved by the full board on Tuesday night included:
- An application for the owner of a property at 3820 Ivy Road, NE, who wants to remove a present home on the property and replace it with three new homes. The property is 4.2 acres and, even with a stream that runs through it, allows for the proper lot size for all three homes. Two of the homes would have driveways directly onto Ivy Road and the owner plans to live in the home to built on the back end of the property, at the end of a long driveway. The committee had unanimously approved it contingent on only three homes on the property and getting letters from two Ivy Knoll property owner.
- An application for a variance from zoning ordinances to allow a detached three-car garage on the property at 87 Park Circle, which was approved by the committee unanimously.
- Updated zoning regulations for the Special Public Interest Area 12 (SPI-12) proposal moving forward toward City Council approval, which the committee also unanimously approved.