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Oakwood planning board delays action on 359-home proposal
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A 62-acre, mixed-use development, including 359 homes, proposed across from West Hall High School off McEver Road was put on hold by the Oakwood Planning Commission Tuesday night.

After more than an hour of hearing details and public reaction to the proposal, the commission voted to delay action until its next meeting on Feb. 19.

Commissioner Tony Millwood said he appreciated the discussion but sought the postponement to that date, “when we have more commission members.”

Three of the commission’s five members were at the meeting.

Chairwoman Melissa Puckett said the next opportunity for public comment would be when the issue reaches the Oakwood City Council, after the planning board makes its recommendation.

She told residents opposing the development that their comments would be conveyed to the absent commissioners.

“Minus our emotion,” said one of the residents.

“Sorry about that,” Puckett said.

Several residents showed up to complain about Rosewood Active Adult Communities LLC’s proposal to annex and rezone the property for 222 townhomes and 137 single-family homes off McEver between Chamblee Road and Westbrook Lane.

Tommy Barnes, a Rosewood representative, said he wasn’t sure what age groups would be targeted for the community.

He did say prices for the townhomes could run in the $170,000 range and for the detached homes, $190,000 to $230,000. 

Residents said they were particularly concerned about traffic that would be generated by the development.

“It seems like we’re becoming Gwinnett (County), and I don’t want to become Gwinnett,” said one of the residents, Shannon Reed.

Barnes said that buildout could take 3-5 years, and “we won’t have any houses (built) until the spring or summer of 2019.”

He also said “substantial traffic improvements would have to be made around the retail” component of the project.

The bulk of the development, or 43 acres, is residential and would be located mostly on the Westbrook Lane side, a city map shows.

Commercial development is proposed on 16 acres on the Chamblee Road end, with another 3-acre commercial tract at the corner of McEver and Westbrook, according to the map.

“We had the engineer configure it so it would accommodate a major grocery store like a Kroger or Publix-type shopping center with some shops and outparcels,” Barnes said.

The 3-acre site “would probably be ideal for two commercial users,” he added.

Overall, “this property is ideally suited for the proposed mixed-use residential development,” Rosewood states in its application. “This development will provide much needed moderately priced housing for the area and will be an asset to the community.”

The area around the proposed development is dotted by houses. West Hall Baptist Church sits across the road, and West Hall Middle School also is in the area.

Rosewood, which is based in Atlanta, got approval last year from Oakwood City Council for a 105-lot active-adult community off McEver Road between Old Flowery Branch Road and Crawford Oaks Drive.

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