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520 apartments, 72 townhomes get thumbs down from Flowery Branch
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The Flowery Branch City Council meets Thursday, May 2, 2019.

A 62-acre multi-use development featuring 520 apartments was rejected Thursday night by the Flowery Branch City Council.

The main reason: worries over traffic.

Councilman Joe Anglin said he was concerned the city’s infrastructure, particularly Spout Springs Road leading to Interstate 985, couldn’t handle the number of cars flowing from the project.

Traffic improvements are on the way, including a widening of Spout Springs and I-985, but if the council approved Gainesville-based Capstone Property Group’s $31.5 million, “we would create a traffic situation before we ever dealt with the (infrastructure),” Anglin said.

“This is about timing,” he added.

Mayor Mike Miller said, “The No. 1 concern about traffic I’ve heard (from residents) is the unknown.”

In the May 2 vote, the council rejected Capstone’s requests for annexations and rezonings of property stretching from Spout Springs to Hog Mountain Road.

Some 7 acres would have been developed as commercial outparcels. Two of the outparcels would be on Hog Mountain and two would be on Spout Springs.

The project did take into account the widening of Spout Springs, work that could possibly start later this year.

Capstone had called for the first 260-apartment phase being built off Hog Mountain Road across from Stonebridge Village shopping center and the second 260-phase coming later, possibly in fall 2023, or after Spout Springs had been widened.

Townhome complex gets denied

Council members agreed with city staff’s recommendation in voting down a proposed 72-townhome complex off Cantrell Road, between Thurmon Tanner Parkway and Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 in Flowery Branch.

HillGrove Homes was seeking to rezone 8.5 acres from light industrial to multifamily residential, but city officials weren’t thrilled with the plans.

“The character area for this site (and the surrounding area) is industrial employment,” said a staff report on the project. “A residential product is not consistent with this vision. This character area is meant to provide jobs not housing.”

HillGrove’s application noted the light manufacturing zoning, “but this area would also be conducive to a live-work-play area.”

6.5-acre section added to Sterling on the Lake

Sterling on the Lake subdivision got the council’s approval to annex and rezone 6.5 acres at 6712 Bragg Road to include as part of the 2,000-home, 1,000-acre subdivision off Spout Springs and Capitola Farm roads.

The number of homes permitted in the subdivision won’t change, according to the proposal.

Layout of the Bragg tract would be contingent on abandoning or reducing Bragg Road right of way as part of plans for a multi-use trail, according to a city document.

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