By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Surprise change to Sterling on the Lake subdivision proposal in Flowery Branch
03232021 STERLING 1
Planned commercial space could be shrinking at the massive Sterling on the Lake subdivision in Flowery Branch under a rezoning proposal set to go before City Council on April 1. - photo by Jeff Gill

Update: A proposal for 65 townhomes on what is now commercial space at the massive Sterling on the Lake subdivision in Flowery Branch has been withdrawn.

Rich Atkinson, city planner, said Sterling was looking to resubmit plans later. The withdrawal was approved by Flowery Branch City Council on Thursday, May 20.

The project was set for a first vote Thursday night. Sterling was asking for a change in its planned unit development zoning to allow for the townhomes on nearly 8 acres off Spout Springs Road and Capitola Farm Road.

Planned commercial space could be shrinking at the massive Sterling on the Lake subdivision in Flowery Branch under a rezoning proposal set to go before City Council on May 20.

Sterling is asking for a change in its planned unit development zoning to allow for 65 townhomes to be built on nearly 8 acres off Spout Springs Road and Capitola Farm Road. A public hearing was held April 1.

The site was graded in 2017 for commercial use.

“When Sterling on the Lake was first envisioned 15 years ago, commercial seemed to be a viable option for that corner,” said Chris Whittaker, vice president of operations of Newland Communities. “To date, there has been limited commercial interest in that area. We believe introducing townhomes here instead is the best option for the location, overall community structure and the surrounding area.”

Jennifer Landers, who was Newland vice president of operations at the time, said then, “With the (2007-09) recession, it was hard to market the commercial site. We’ve been waiting for the right time. We feel like the market’s ready.”

The property has been vacant since.

Sterling traces its history to 2001, when Newland Communities was given the approval to build up to 1,788 homes on 900 acres. In 2008, Sterling was given the OK to add about 100 more acres and 200 more homes.

If the townhomes are approved, the limit on the number of homes in the development would go up by 15, Whittaker said.

The development has one remaining commercial tract — 4.5 acres at Spout Springs Road and Lake Sterling Boulevard.

“That’s still for sale,” Whittaker said.

The subdivision has been growing steadily otherwise in recent years, most recently adding a gated, active-adult section off Capitola Farm Road, The Retreat.