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Decatur City Commission approves conditional use permit for townhomes on Church Street

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Decatur City Commission approves conditional use permit for townhomes on Church Street

Decatur City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA— At its March 18 regular meeting, the Decatur City Commission approved a conditional use permit and a special exception for an 11-unit townhome development slated for 111 Church Street.

Plans for the development include 11 townhomes on the half-acre site at the corner of Church Street and East Howard Avenue. One unit will be set aside as affordable. The property is zoned general commercial, allowing for townhomes if approved with a conditional use permit.

The units will be three- or four-bedrooms with two-car garages and rooftop decks and will be three stories. The affordable unit would also be three- or four-bedroom with a one-car garage and a rooftop deck.

The city’s inclusionary housing ordinance requires that 10% of all housing developments built must be “inclusionary” or restricted to families that make less than or equal to 120% of the area median income (AMI) of the area for a unit that is for sale. According to Invest Atlanta, 120% AMI would range from $81,000 for a one-person household to $115,680 for a four-person household.

The planning commission recommended approval with conditions, and the Downtown Development Authority has also recommended approval of the project. The commission added conditions to ensure mature trees on the property would be protected and that the property was in line with the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance regulating affordable housing.

The city commission approved the conditions from the planning commission and included an additional condition that the inclusionary unit must be at least 16-feet wide.

Initially, two affordable units were proposed and would’ve been 15 feet wide, but the city’s code requires each unit to be at least 16 feet wide, said Andrew Rutledge with Office of Design, the architect of the project. The plans will have to be adjusted, he added, and would feature only one affordable unit, instead of two. According to the site plan, most of the market-rate units range from 18 feet to 19 feet in width.

The city commission also approved a special exception to the building height that would allow the townhomes to be 50 feet at their highest, 10 feet higher than the code limit of 40 feet.

The Office of Design and Jackbilt Development, the developer, anticipate construction will start later this year or early in 2025.

In other business:

– The city commission approved an alcoholic beverage license for the retail sale in original package of wine and beer for Vine Fine Wine, located at 335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., suite B.

The city commission also approved temporary special event beer and wine licenses for a few annual events sponsored by non-profit organizations at Legacy Park.

Legacy Decatur and the Wylde Center will host a cocktail hour plant pre-sale for donors on April 12 from 6-8 p.m. Legacy Decatur will host a spring event highlighting the growing community at Legacy Park. The Wylde Center Plant Sale Festival will be held on April 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Wylde Center will also host a Beer Garden event at Legacy Park on April 27 from 5-8 p.m.

The special event beer and wine license was also approved for Truckin’ Tuesdays that will be held at Legacy Park in May and September.

– The city commission approved a memorandum of understanding with the DDA and the Decatur Tourism Bureau to allocate about $165,205 for the downtown ambassador program. The DDA recommended approval of an ambassador program that would focus on services related to cleaning, hospitality, and safety at its March 8 meeting.

The city will enter into an agreement with Block By Block for the downtown ambassador program in an amount not to exceed $496,000.

Planning and Economic Development Director Angela Threadgill previously said the city’s downtown master plan includes creating a downtown ambassador program “to address cleanliness and safety issues, also to provide visitor services, and business outreach.”

– The city commission approved a construction budget of about $1.3 million and a design-build amendment to an agreement with Precision Turf for about $1.2 million to convert the field at Ebster Park to synthetic turf.

“This project involves converting Ebster Field, which is a natural turf field on top of the Ebster stormwater vault, from natural turf to artificial turf and adding a ball field lighting,” Capital Projects Manager Hugh Saxon previously said. “The field is intensively used year-round. Like most natural turf fields that are used year-round in all weather conditions, it suffers a lot of wear and tear.”

– The city commission also approved a $69,800 contract with JNB Services and establishing an $80,000 project budget to demolish the single-family homes at 600 Commerce Drive, 1010 N. Parkwood Drive, and 475 Landover Drive. The city owns all three properties.

Landover and North Parkwood Road properties are slated to become public greenspace after the demolition. The city is working with MicroLife Institute to develop a plan for a potential missing middle housing project at 600 Commerce Drive.

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