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Avondale Estates City Commission to consider variance request for senior affordable housing

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Avondale Estates City Commission to consider variance request for senior affordable housing

City of Avondale Estates. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 25, at 5:30 p.m. for a regular meeting. The City Commission meeting will be held via Zoom and at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza.

To join the meeting via Zoom, click here. The webinar ID is 869 4025 9572.

To view the meeting agendas, click here.

During the meeting, the city commission will receive public comment and act on a variance request from TBG Residential, which is planning to build apartments for low-income seniors at 2804 Franklin Street, 2816 Franklin Street, and 154 Olive Street. The variance request seeks to reduce the unit size from 1,300 square feet to between 750-985 square feet.

TBG Residential has also requested a Tier 2 waiver to allow some portions of the building to exceed the height limitations without taking advantage of the bonus system, according to a memo of the city staff’s recommendations.

“The elevations illustrate a building that is three stories, primarily, with certain sections where the grade tapers to reveal up to four stories exposed,” the memo states. “At 40-feet, 2.5-inches, the three-story portions measure 4 feet 2.5 inches above the allowable height, and the four-story portions have not been dimensioned. The revised height remains deficient and still requires a waiver request.”

The city commission approved a conditional use permit for the project at the April 28, 2021, board meeting.

The project, Overlook at Avondale, will be three to four stories and have 66 units, which breaks down to 27 one-bedroom units, and 39 two-bedroom units serving seniors whose income is 40-80% of the area median income. Amenities will include podium parking, a community room, a computer center and a fitness center, according to TBG Residential’s zoning application.

“The site plan identifies space for a future Washington Street extension,” the memo says. “The development team proposes to set aside the land for the road and has stated their intention to build it. The site plan also illustrates a path on the north-south access instead of a road, as is called for in the adopted street grid and codified in the zoning code. The development does not meet all standards required by the City of Avondale Estates Zoning Ordinance; therefore, the applicant has requested relief to accommodate the development as proposed.”

City staff has recommended that the variance request to reduce the unit size be approved and the Tier 2 waiver request be denied.

“The applicant has not demonstrated that strict adherence to the requirements is unreasonable and not consistent with the goals of the code,” city staff said in the memo. “To the contrary, the applicant’s proposal for extra height without providing the vehicular and pedestrian transportation and connectivity improvements to the site contemplated by the street grid is in direct conflict with the general-purpose statements in Section 21-1.1.5 and for those of the Central Business District in Section 21-3.2.1. The quality of design is not elevated above the minimum code requirements to justify the waiver relief. Staff finds that the requested Tier 2 height waiver would be contrary to the public welfare in this regard and thus should be denied.”

If the city commission approves the request, city staff recommends five conditions, including that the Washington Street extension and multiuse path must be designed, constructed and dedicated to city standards, and the access driveway to the development must be relocated to a more minor street.

In other business, the board will also consider setting dates for public hearings on the millage rate, which are proposed to be held on June 15 and 29 at 5:30 p.m. and on June 30 at 6 p.m. The June 30 public hearing will be followed by a special called meeting to adopt the millage rate.

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