WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock City Council will soon consider a rezoning for 79 townhomes and commercial space on Highway 92, without the support of the city’s planning commission.
Planning commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to recommend denying the rezoning request from King Mac Ventures LLC for a mix of commercial and residential property on 21 acres just east of Main Street and the railroad tracks, for plans to expand the residential portion and leave 21,000 square feet of commercial “flex” space.
The development would need access to an intersection with a traffic signal, rather than just a right-in, right-out access point, Senior City Planner Katie O’Connor told planning commissioners. As a result, city staff prepared two sets of conditions: if a connection to Stonecroft Lane leading to a signalized intersection could be made, staff supported approving a conditional use permit to allow for townhome development. If the connection could not be made, staff were not in favor of approving the permit for townhomes, but were open to allowing detached residential units on the property.
Attorney Joel Larkin, representing the developer, argued the property was difficult to develop and was not very conducive to commercial being on site. However, Larkin believed it was an excellent location for high-end townhomes and thus finally bringing development to the last undeveloped site in the area.
Planning Commission Chairman James Drinkard asked Larkin what was envisioned when describing the commercial development as flex space. Larkin said a medical office of some sort would be the most likely candidate to occupy the front area, as he believed the site was not well-suited for retail space.
Two residents shared their thoughts with the planning commission.
Levi Llewellyn said he was concerned about the increase in traffic on Highway 92 the development could create, as well as privacy for his family and others living in a residential development behind the property. He wanted to be sure that there would be enough buffer space left between the townhomes and the subdivision to the south, giving those already living in the area some amount of privacy from the new development.
Responding to Llewellyn, Larkin said there was a more than 100-foot wide Georgia Power easement between where the townhomes would be and the subdivision, which would help ensure plenty of buffer space between the two communities.
Janenne Johnston said she believed the townhomes would be a good addition to the community, as having residential there could keep the area relatively quieter than other possible uses.
Commission Member Renee Gable said she felt the plan had not been fully fleshed out enough before coming to the city. Drinkard agreed that the site may not be the best location for retail commercial development, but was concerned about reducing commercial opportunities in the city.