Planning Commission backs new housing proposals in Rome; Shannon industrial rezoning
Two housing-related applications were backed by the Rome-Floyd Planning Commission during their first meeting of the year.
The first application is to rezone 3.4 acres along First Avenue and Fourth Street from Community Commercial and Light Industrial to Multifamily-Residential to build 41 townhomes.
There would be three-story townhomes with two-car garages that are approximately 1,800 to 1,950 square feet, as well as two-story townhomes with one-car garages that are approximately 1,630 square feet.
During a public hearing Thursday, the project’s civil engineer, David Buckel, said they plan to keep the neighboring parking lot for nearby offices.
They also plan to have two points of access to help ease traffic flow in the area.
The applicant will also have to go before the Historic Preservation Commission before permits and development can begin.
An application for apartments along Woodrow Wilson Way was also backed by planning commission members.
Applicant Gateway Development is requesting to rezone the 14.4-acre lot from Community Commercial and Multi-Family Residential to strictly Multi-Family Residential.
The development has actually come before the planning commission twice before when developers had planned for it to be a tax-credit project.
When the tax credits weren’t approved by the state, the company decided to go ahead and fund the project itself.
Gateway plans to build a 210-unit apartment complex that would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The housing would be available to all age groups.
The property sits on Berry College property, but Jimmy Byars of Hardy Realty spoke as a representative of the college and voiced Berry’s support.
Kathy Smith, a resident on Woodrow Wilson Way, spoke in opposition to the project, saying it would heavily increase traffic in the area, which houses several medical facilities and an assisted-living facility.
“That community was created for the elderly and medical community,” she said. “All of this is a tremendous amount of congestion with ambulances coming and going, and 210 units have the potential to create 1,000 more occupants.”
Gateway representative Josh Mandel said the property would be accessed from both Redmond Circle and Woodrow Wilson Way to ease traffic. He also said that they aren’t expecting 1,000 occupants since the biggest unit would have only three bedrooms.
The planning commission also backed an amendment to the Unified Land Development Code to allow townhomes and tri/duplexes to be built along major roads.
It would include connector roads like Fifth Avenue and Division Street as well as thoroughfares, such as Turner McCall Boulevard and Riverside Parkway.
A local business’s request to amend the ULDC to reduce the distance required between billboard signs in the city was denied a hearing from the planning commission.
The planning commission’s recommendations will go to the Rome City Commission for public hearings and final votes on Jan. 24.
One application will go to the Floyd County Commission: a request from the county to rezone a two-acre lot at 87 Shannon Road to expand the acreage available for industry use.
Special Projects Manager Bruce Ivey, representing the county, is requesting to rezone the property from Suburban Residential to Heavy Industrial. It would then be combined with surrounding parcels already owned by the Rome-Floyd Development Authority.
The planning commission backed the application, which now goes to the County Commission for a public hearing and vote at their Jan. 25 meeting.