Alpharetta City Council narrowly approved an application to allow a 27-home neighborhood to be built at the corner of Rucker and Wills roads, across from Wills Park and American Legion Post 201.
Don Rolader represented the applicants, Arrowhead Real Estate Partners, and said if the weather holds, homes could be completed by July 2014.
On a 4-3 vote, City Council allowed the subdivision to be built, but with several conditions. The site plan included entrances on both Wills and Rucker roads.
John Monson, an Arrowhead Court resident, asked council members why the new subdivision needed two entrances and suggested eliminating the Rucker Road entrance.
"If they never had it, they're never going to miss it. So why create the headache in the first place?" Monson asked.
Council members limited the subdivision to just one entrance on Wills Road. The two entrances would create a "cut through" traffic situation with motorists seeking to avoid the traffic light. They also cited plans to redesign Rucker Road that at the least would restrict the proposed entrance on that road to right in/right out only as another issue. And for a 27-unit subdivision, they didn't see a need for two entrances.
By eliminating the space required for the second entrance, more of the property will be available to separate the houses. The developer will be required to have at least 20 feet of space between the houses on Rucker and Wills road.
Mayor David Belle Isle's condition to require that all but six of the homes would have to be built with at least 2,800 square feet of livable space. The zoning classification requires a minimum of 2,400 square feet of space.
Building 27 homes on 8.65 acres creates a densty of 3.43 units per acre, and that required a change to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan changing the property from low density to medium density use.
Two historic homes on the property will be demolished, as the Alpharetta Historic Society said they are more old than historic with the condition they are in and the lack of historic significance. Even if they were suitable, the Historic Society has nowhere to move them.
Charles Turner of American Legion Post 201 said they didn't have a problem with the subdivision, but they wanted the developers and future homeowners to understand it is an active post. He cited problems with a subdivision behind Post 201. Homeowners who bought homes in that subdivision knew what they were buying, yet they still complained about Post 201 activities when they moved in.
Council also added a condition giving staff approval over home exterior designs. The condition strongly encouraged the extensive use of brick or stone.