Woodstock to mull land development change
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
September 23, 2012 12:44 AM | 1425 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — Zoning and land development in Woodstock may change after Monday night’s City Council meeting, with the goal of having Woodstock become a more sustainable neighborhood where residents can live, work and play.

Instead of the usual location at the Chambers at City Center, the mayor and Council will meet at 7 p.m. at the City Annex, located at 12453 Highway 92.

The council will vote on modifications to its Land Development Ordinance to accommodate the creation of form-based code.

Unlike traditional zoning methods based mostly on building categories, form-based code requires developers to consider the impact their projects would have on the surrounding environment. The purpose is to make the city pedestrian-friendly and have a framework of alternative transit to encourage connected, more compact living.

The measure was tabled at the Sept. 10 meeting due to three Councilmembers — Chris Casdia, Tessa Basford and Randy Brewer — being absent, and was previously tabled at its Aug. 27 meeting.

At the council’s previous meeting, attorney and former Gov. Roy Barnes was present to represent his client Ridgewalk Holdings LLC, which is challenging the city’s plans to implement the zoning changes.

The company owns about 110 acres near where the new Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta are being constructed.

Barnes told the Tribune in August he and his clients are presenting a constitutional challenge to the city’s proposal as the plan violates Ridgewalk Holding’s right to equal protection in the U.S. Constitution.

Barnes claimed the new rules are “so vague” and that the company would be “financially harmed,” as it had originally agreed to develop under the light industrial zoning category that could be changed under the proposed form-based code plan.

Additionally, the measure will consider rezoning three areas within the Technology Park Overlay District to form-based zoning: infill village in two areas and new community town center in one area.

In other business, the council will:

* Hear from Wayne Spencer on behalf of the Downtown Woodstock Homeowner’s Association regarding the council’s decision to not reimburse the HOA for streetlight payments the group made, totaling $21,269.75;

* Hear from the city’s GIS staff , who will review the proposed options for redistricting of wards;

* Consider a sign variance application from His Hands Church Inc. of Woodstock for its property located at 550 Molly Lane in the former K-Mart building to allow a 400-square-foot building sign;

* Consider a contract with Diversified Electronics Inc. for maintenance of the Woodstock Police Department’s radio system, costing $927.50 per month;

* Consider an amendment to add an adjacent property to the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village lease; and

* Vote whether to ratify the decision to move forward with the self-insurance fund for employee health insurance.

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