Woodstock Council addresses zoning concerns, ward maps
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
January 31, 2013 12:00 AM | 2006 views | 2 2 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — Woodstock City Council members decided to stand firmly in regard to zoning concerns expressed by representatives of three proposed restaurants planning to open in the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta.

Council member Chris Casdia asked to bring the zoning measure back to see a map and have a general discussion of the requirements for applicants looking to open businesses in outparcels of the shopping center.

Council member Randy Brewer said he prefers to adhere to the ordinance, which falls under the city’s recently approved smart code, unless the business can prove true hardship, as was the case with an approved variance for a Verizon store slated to open there.

In other business, the council approved the second reading of the city’s new council ward maps as well as a zoning variance that will allow a new assisted living facility to be built within the city.

Based on 2010 U.S. Census information, the newly redrawn ward maps were approved 5-1 with council member Liz Baxter opposing the changes. She said her ward is not connected in certain areas and the map splits up neighborhoods within her ward.

The new six-ward map is one of two discussed at the council’s previous meeting. The option keeps Garden Street entirely in Ward 1.

Located east of Trickum Road and north of Popcorn Drive, the unanimously-approved variance request from Alpharetta-based Woodstock SLP, LLC rezones 6.63 acres of property to allow for an assisted living and memory care facility.

“Due to the nature of the facility, the applicants requested a variance to push the building away from the street for safety reasons,” City Planner Brian Stockton said.

The undeveloped property would house 47 assisted living patients and 12 memory care patients, who are those with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia, company representative Peter Millichap said.

Approximately 4.3 acres of the property was zoned for office space and institutional and about 2.3 acres was zoned general commercial. The council’s approval rezones the entire property to senior living to allow for the construction of a 40,000-square-feet facility that will accommodate 59 units.

Millichap said his Alpharetta-based firm has operated over 20 assisted living communities.

“We deal with residents that are of the age bracket of the early 80’s to late 80’s into their 90’s,” Millichap said.

He added that upon opening, he anticipates the facility hiring somewhere between 26 and 28 employees.

“I frankly think that’s a good place to put a facility like that,” council member Bud Leonard said.

Additonally, the council tabled discussion of expanding the city’s connectivity until this Friday’s annual retreat, which will be at Magnolia Hall in downtown Woodstock and begin at 1 p.m. The council previously discussed opportunities for increased city connectivity at least year’s retreat but has not come to a consensus on whether to move forward in seeking a new service provider or installing its own “dark fiber” cables.

IT Director Jim Moore initially requested an additional $60,000 to buy equipment for “dark fiber” cable, but after discussing with council, Moore recommended not to purchase the equipment at this time but rather approve the additional funds to purchase bundled equipment that he anticipated would increase in cost next year.

“I read the status that you wrote (for the agenda item)… but I could read it 10 more times to get up to speed on it,” Casdia said. “It seems to me that since the budget line item was for something specific, not to just right now vote to spend it on something else.”

Baxter and Leonard both agreed, each saying they didn’t fully understand Moore’s request.

Brewer asked if delaying the vote would delay or otherwise affect efforts to update connectivity.

“My main thing is, I don’t want anything to get in the way of increasing our connectivity and tying all of our facilities together,” Brewer said.

Moore said no, and the council decided to wait until the retreat to discuss the matter.

The council also:

 Council member Chris Casdia appointed Jay Evans to the planning commission;

 Approved an alcohol license for Habaneros Taqueria Restaurant at 9550 Main Street Suite 120;

 Approved 2013 Summer Concert Series contracts with Yacht Rock Review for $10,000 to perform June 8; and The Marshall Tucker Band for $16,000 to perform on Sept. 14;

 Approved the purchase of a new Woodstock Fire Department administrative vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe from Hardy Chevrolet, for $25,709;

 Approved a request from Horizon Group Properties for a project management fee of $51,907, which is 5 percent of the $1.3 million cost to widen Ridgewalk Parkway between the relocated Woodstock Parkway and Ridge Trail; and

 Met in executive session to discuss real estate, personnel and litigation, but did not take any action upon their return.



Comments
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Cherokee mike
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February 02, 2013
The SMART CODE zoning that the City Council approved for Ridgewalk is a bunch of hooey. For example, the 32 acres that the Church wants to build on had a requirement from SMART CODE that mandated 122 bicycle racks be installed. The Church elders knew enough members of City Council to get that silly requirement changed, but the rest of the 100 acres that sits undeveloped still requires 4 bicycle racks per acre. There is also a requirement that the developers build a tram-way through the property all the way to Main Street. No wonder the developers of Ridgewalk have filed a lawsuit against Mayor Donnie and the City Council.
Jimmy5Fingers
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January 31, 2013
These guys can't think their way out of a box, let alone run a city. What a joke.
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