DeKalb commissioners approve special land use permit for 125-unit senior housing developmentVG First Baptist Senior, LP, was granted a special land use permit by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners for a 125-unit senior housing development. Photo courtesy of DeKalb County.
Greater Decatur, GA — The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, at its Dec. 21 meeting, approved a special land use permit for a 125-unit multifamily senior housing development at 2318 Second Avenue in greater Decatur.
The project was proposed by VG First Baptist Senior, LP and is a partnership between Vecino Bond Group and First Baptist Church at Gresham, who owns the land. The developers plan to apply for low-income housing tax credits to fund the project.
Plans include seven multifamily unit buildings. The largest building will be three stories with 89 units. The remaining six buildings will be single story triplexes totaling 36 units. There will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units for seniors age 62 and older with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income.
“The proposal also includes some outdoor active recreation opportunities throughout the site,” DeKalb County Planning Manager Brandon White said. “Also included as part of this proposal will be a number of internal offerings for the senior residents in the form of recreation. There will also be some health related offerings.”
The development additionally will feature a community space that will house the management and leasing office, as well as a community room, computer and fitness center, arts and crafts room, outdoor gathering areas and raised garden beds.
Access to the site will be off Tilson Road, which is currently the only access point.
“To note, based on the number of units, 125 total units, they are required to have a minimum of two access points,” White said. “To the degree that they’re not able to provide an additional access point, they will have to request a variance from the planning commission to seek relief from the land development code.”
The proposal includes plans for landscaping along the access drive. A Combination of shrubs, understory and canopy trees are also planned to be planted on the driveway and around the perimeter of the site.
According to the special land use permit application, there is currently a two-story building on the site that is used as a life center for VG First Baptist Church. White added that the building will remain and continue to be used in addition to the residential units.
Commissioner Larry Johnson was encouraged to see the project and said there is a need for more opportunities for people to age in place in the neighborhood.
“I want to thank the neighbors, the church and the developer who have worked in the community to galvanize and help them to understand that this is just a critical need of housing in our community,” Johnson said. “It’s an opportunity to really, really move the [senior] housing shortage forward.”