Holly Springs

Holly Springs City Council members voted unanimously to deny a 320-unit high-end multi-family apartment complex proposed for Gresham Mill Parkway.

Attorney Parks Huff, who represented the applicant, Alliance Realty Partners, LLC, submitted a request to table the applications prior to the meeting, according to Mayor Steve Miller.

Miller said his recommendation was not to table the applications before council denied the request.

At the last meeting, council members heard eight people speak against apartments, most citing traffic, overcrowded schools and crimes as their concerns.

Members of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission heard similar pleas at their meeting in July. The commission voted 3-1, with Adrian Dekker opposed, to approve the rezoning and variance requests.

Council also unanimously approved the first alternative for a proposed industrial connector roadway that would help alleviate future traffic in the downtown area at the suggestion from the Georgia Department of Transportation and Atlanta-based engineering firm AECOM.

AECOM Project Manager Will Sheehan said during a presentation at Monday night’s meeting they would suggest alternative 1 to the council after receiving feedback from an open house with Holly Springs residents earlier this month and weighing other determining factors. As a result of the open house, alternative 1 received the most votes for and coincidentally cost less while creating no residential displacements, he said. Eight commercial businesses will be displaced due to the alignment, according to a draft map of the connector.

The first alternative (West Industrial Connector) begins at a section of Hickory Road, crosses over the Georgia Northeastern Rail Road on a bridge and ends at Holly Springs Parkway across from Mountain Brook Drive. This alternative includes a revitalized intersection at Hickory Springs Industrial Drive and Hickory Road, as well as a portion of Holly Springs Parkway at Pinecrest Road and roads along P. Rickman Industrial Drive.

“The main differentiator was property impacts, environment impacts, cost and the voting,” he said when determining what alternative to suggest.

There were three alternatives for the proposed roadway that would connect Hickory Road to Holly Springs Parkway under consideration.

This proposed intersection would allow commuters to bypass the downtown intersection of Hickory and Main Streets in Holly Springs, according to a document supplied by GDOT.

“The proposed project would mitigate the congestion and safety issues that currently exist in downtown Holly Springs near the intersection of Hickory Road and Holly Springs Parkway and improve operational issues in the area due to the at-grade railroad crossing in close proximity to the traffic signal,” the document states.

AECOM will submit their concept report to GDOT Sept. 20 and expect approval by Dec. 31, Sheehan said.

Low millage rate approved

The Holly Springs Council also voted unanimously to approve one of the lowest millage rates in years at their business meeting Monday night.

City Manager and Finance Director Rob Logan said the proposed millage rate for 2017 at 4.85 mills was a reduction from last year’s number, 5.086 mills, which exceeds the rollback rate.

“The computation of the millage rate rollback for 2017 was 4.858,” he said. “Due to growth in the digest from last year, I was able to recommend a reduction in the millage rate to 4.850.”

The city’s millage rate has steadily declined since 2012, according to a tax digest assessing the past five years.

Real and personal property assessments have increased by 56 percent from 2012 to 2017, the highest they’ve been recorded in recent years and totaling at $476,323,165.

Holly Springs has levied $2,096,900 in taxes this year alone, according to the tax digest.

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