At a recent meeting of the Woodstock City Council, the council moved forward on a case involving the rezoning and annexation of 31 acres of land on South Cherokee Lane for a proposed residential development.

“The case went before planning commission on Feb. 6, and at that time, they recommended approval and just made a couple of revisions to the staff conditions,” City Planner Niwanna Ray said. “You all heard this case at the end of February, on the 24th. At that time, we did conduct the public hearing, had a few people speak. The case was tabled until the last meeting in March, to allow the applicant (Toll Bros.) time to complete a traffic study and review the variances.”

According to information Ray provided during the meeting, there are five parcels of land up for annexation and rezoning to a residential classification that would allow for the neighborhood development. Most of the northern two parcels and their houses would remain essentially as they currently are, while small portions of the parcels would be taken and attached with the other three to form the future subdivision.

Along with the request for annexation and rezoning, Toll Bros. was asking the city for variances to allow for a reduction in the minimum lot size and in the required lot setbacks, but these would not affect the northern two parcels of property. After reviewing the variances, Ray said city staff had worked out some compromises, including allowing for a reduction in minimum lot size (dropping from 12,000 square feet per lot to 7,500, while the application asked for 6,700 square feet) and some shrinking of the minimal setback, keeping them comparable to nearby developments. Other conditions the county had worked out including having the applicant contribute $50,000 to road improvements on South Cherokee Lane and $15,000 to install a four-way stop at the intersection of South Cherokee Lane, Lakestone Parkway and Bevington Lane.

"This is a very interesting case,” attorney Parks Huff, who represented Toll Bros. on the case, said. “Toll would like to build a family-friendly community with an amenities package. It’s a family-type neighborhood.”

Huff said that based on the traffic study, the development would not cause serious issues, while also saying the intersection of South Cherokee Lane, Lakestone Parkway and Bevington Lane that could be improved with the creation of a four-way stop.

“For those two homes that will remain, is the land that they sit on used in the density calculations?,” Councilman Colin Ake asked.

“No, it is not,” Huff responded.

Additional questions included if there was additional land involved that might be added to the development in the future and if the traffic study had estimated the number of cars per home once the development was completed. Huff answered that no, all of the land to be included in the community was included in this case and that the traffic study had only calculated the average number of trips per day the subdivision could generate, not the number of cars per household that might be seen.

Councilwoman Tracy Collins then made a motion to approve the rezoning of the property. Collins’ motion also approved the 6,700 square foot lot size and lot setback variances that had been requested in the application. Along with this, Councilman David Potts put forth a motion to approve the annexation of the land in question. Both motions passed in a 5-1 vote, with Ake providing the dissenting vote both times.

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