Planning commission backs proposals totaling nearly 1,400 new residences
Two sites that almost have legacy status in the development community won needed backing to move forward from the Rome-Floyd Planning Commission on Thursday.
Both projects now move to the Rome City Commission for public hearings on April 25, at 6:30 p.m.
The more familiar one is a proposal for 34 acres off Dodd Boulevard between U.S. 411 and Callier Springs Road.
Randall Shields and First National Community Bank are seeking rezoning from Community Commercial to Multifamily Residential to build 125 townhomes. They previously had a plan with storage units and RV parking set behind Riverside Toyota. It was withdrawn.
Months before that, Jim Chapman Homes was proposing the Villas of Rome, a two-phased development with “age-targeted multifamily … townhomes consisting of one and two bedroom units” that would have been home to 500 to 800 people. It also was withdrawn, in part because of nearby opposition.
This time, no one spoke in opposition to the residences-only project and it was OK’d by the planning commission in a 7-0 vote.
The second covers nearly 290 acres at the corner of U.S. 411 and the bypass, backed up by Floyd Memory Gardens.
Over the years, the tract has been pushed for retail development, and then housing. This time, Fall Leaf Residential LLC and Rome Land Co. are asking for rezoning from Suburban Residential to Multifamily Residential for a mix of 1,231 townhomes and apartments.
Once completed, it is expected to be home to 3,078 new residents, with 200 households available in the first year. As proposed in September, a retail/commercial element also was in the mix — but it has been subdivided from the residential project and there’s already some interest in it. The residential project is called Avalon of Rome.
The planning commission recommended the rezoning, 7-0, after three people spoke in favor and no opposition.
♦ The Rome-Floyd Development Authority also won unanimous backing from the citizen board for plans to rezone the 132.5-acre former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property on Division Street. It would go from Office Institutional to Heavy Industrial, to allow for economic development.
It’s conditioned on the planning staff recommendation that a barrier be created to reroute commercial truck traffic north toward the bypass, to avoid Charlton Street and other inner city streets.
RFCDA President and CEO Missy Kendrick spoke in favor of the rezoning. The development authority allocated revenue from recent 1-cent sales tax votes to fund the purchase of the site. There was no opposition from the audience.
However, planning commission member Logan Boss questioned why the site would go industrial, especially with surrounding residential communities including Summerville Park. He also said he is puzzled by plans to bulldoze many of the existing structures, including the chapel. Kendrick said some of the 195 buildings will be saved for reuse — including the chapel.
The Rome City Commission will take that up as well on April 25.
Also up for review were bids by mega builder Smith Douglas Homes for additional phases to ongoing projects in the area. They include Crestview off Ga. 53 by the bypass and Westbury duplexes in West Rome. Both were approved, with no further action required.