Rome City Commission OKs annexation, rezoning of Pleasant Valley Preserve site (with stipulations). Earlier: Martha Berry project rezoning passes unanimously. Open container ordinance now permanent. Knox Box fire proposal passes.

Rome City Commission OKs annexation, rezoning of Pleasant Valley Preserve site (with stipulations). Earlier: Martha Berry project rezoning passes unanimously. Open container ordinance now permanent. Knox Box fire proposal passes.

Standing room only at Monday’s Rome City Commission meeting.

 

 Click here to watch. / We’ve added “minute marks” to find it easily on the recording.

City commissioners: Jim Bojo, Mark Cochran, Bill Collins, Wendy Davis, Jamie Doss, Craig McDaniel, Randy Quick, Sundai Stevenson. Excused: Bonny Askew.

Tabled: Teen curfew ordinance revision postponed. (around 13-minute mark)

Making open container ordinance in downtown Rome permanent. It passed and replaces the “test” ordinance. Hours are 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 2021-10-11 (permanent) Open Container Downtown District (around 14:39 minute mark)

Knox Box: To allow easier access into a potential burning building by the Rome Floyd Fire Department. There was some question about access to businesses, especially financial institutions (would be exempt). Motion carries; business option amendment fails. Fire Marshal Mary Catherine Chewning made the presentation. . Background (around 18:39 minute mark)

Some of the retail and residential proposed for North Five Avenue. The project comes before the Rome City Commission for a vote on Monday night.

 

Martha Berry/North Fifth Avenue redevelopment: Some 200 apartments plus retail, replacing Relax Inn and other remaining buildings.  (around 31:13-minute mark)

Up now for considering. Brice Wood with the Planning Department presents the rezoning. Mayor Craig McDaniel recuses himself from leading this part of the meeting as he has business conflicts (he’s got the property listing with Toles, Temple & Wright). Some of the 200 residential units would be owner-occupied, says Wood, adding that the office has received “a number of letters of support from nearby property owners.” Nine properties in all.

The developers, architects and neighborhood businesses present in favor of the project.

The vote: Rezoning passes by unanimous vote.

The legalize: “Request to rezone from General Heavy Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1102 Martha Berry Blvd, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y344.  Applicant/Owner: Doug Reeves; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed use for the property located at 1104 Martha Berry Blvd, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y343. Applicant/Owner: DeSoto Developers LLC; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1104 Martha Berry Blvd, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y338.  Applicant/Owner: DeSoto Developers LLC; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1200 Martha Berry Blvd, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y337.  Applicant/Owner: Studio Siri LLC; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1204 Martha Berry Blvd, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y336.  Applicant/Owner: RPB Investment; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1109 North fifth Ave, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y340.  Applicant/Owner: DeSoto Developers LLC; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1105 North fifth Ave, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y341.  Applicant/Owner: DeSoto Developers LLC; Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 0 North fifth Ave, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y342.  Applicant/Owner: DeSoto Developers LLC. Requests rezoning from Community Commercial to Urban Mixed Use for the property located at 1212 Martha Berry Blvd, Rome, GA 30165, Floyd County Tax Parcel J13Y335.”


As planned, Pleasant Valley Preserve would bring 1,018 single-family homes in a corridor off Pleasant Valley Road, Chulio Road and Boyd Valley Road.

Pleasant Valley Preserve: 1,018 single-family homes planned off Chulio, Pleasant Valley roads adjacent to Hampton Preserve/Hampton East/Twickenham.  (around 50 -minute mark)

First up: Bid to annex some of the acres now outside city limits. Strictly annexation. Brice Wood from the planning department presents the application. (around 31:13-minute mark)

Speaking for: Representatives from the developers present briefly supporting the 70-acre annexation.

Speaking against: Area residents unload, citing safety, traffic flow and loss of quality of life. Rev. Chris Barberi, a neighboring resident and East Central parent, outlines the impact on the neighborhood and the school itself (200-plus new students).

Developers’ rebuttal: Disputes some of the traffic comments. Also says the Bypass extension will be under way soon, easing traffic concerns. Also says turn lanes will be added… For schools: two to three years will lapse before much of the development comes on line, allowing time plan for student growth.

Commissioner comments: Commissioners ask Rome City Schools Superintendent Lou Byars about the impact. he says his job is to be prepared for growth as there is growth under way in every city school zone. Says new SPLOST will include a new middle school. Says “I’m looking at adding to every school,” says the school system has added 1,000 students in 10 years (now at 6,500). Also says the city new housing for teachers… Commissioner Bill Collins talks about future needs and changing times… Commissioner Jamie Doss wants to know about how many trees will come down? Developer says with the development, they’d need to clear the site — “but plant back new growth.”… Commissioner Mark Cochran asks about density… Doss: City has never refused an annexation… Home prices: High $200,000 to mid $300,000… McDaniel as City Manager Sammy Rich about fire safety and related issues. Rich says there is adequate protection (water pressure).

Annexation approved with no objections from the commission.

Pleasant Valley Preserve, rezoning request next.

First up: Planner Brice Wood shows the site up for rezoning. (around 1:27-minute mark)

Developers: Project would take seven to 10 years… multiple builders in the project… lot sizes of 50 feet by 120 feet…. amenities including smaller parks, dog parks, trails… Outdoor amenities (including a kitchen)…

Speaking in opposition: Marietta attorney Doug Haynie speaks for the homeowners in Hampton Preserve and Hampton East, the adjoining subdivisions. Another resident provides stunning detail about the loads needed to build the homes — nearly 70,000 trips by cement trucks on roads designed for much lighter trips.

Rebuttal: Developer underscores no access to Hampton developments.

Motion to approve rezoning with conditions made by Commissioner Randy Quick: (Groans from the audience) Frank Beacham, serving as city attorney, seeks clarity from the building department (why isn’t the city attorney desk mic’ed?) There’s still some confusion on the motion to approve; Quick restates. Says approve with seven stipulations (signed by developer). Seconded by Commissioner Jim Bojo. Commissioner Jamie Doss asks to be made “crystal clear”  on traffic stipulations and wonders why there’s a rush to rezone. Says “we’re putting one of the largest developments on a country road.” Commissioner Mark Cochran says he’s traveled Chulio for years and says then and now, “it’s a crappy road.” Says if the vote is passed, it must be a de facto vote to fix Chulio Road; reminds audience Chulio is a county-maintained road. (Public speakers repeatedly asked where the past SPLOST money to fix Chulio  as approved by voters back then). He also says there is nothing the city can do to stop a development there.. Commissioner Wendy Davis again repeats many roads in the city need attention now… Commissioner Sundai Stevenson says safety is a priority for the community…… Quick also cites safety… Doss suggests voting no without prejudice to get the traffic concerns nailed down.

Vote is 5-2 in favor of rezoning. With stipulations.


 

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