An oak tree perhaps as old as Oakwood helped pump the brakes Monday, April 9, on a developer’s plans to build 60 townhomes near Oakwood Elementary School and Thurmon Tanner Parkway.
Concerns about Shadow Stone Partners LLC’s proposal on 5.61 acres at 4515 Allen St. were raised by Oakwood City Council members.
They included potential impacts on traffic and, as Councilman Dwight Wood said, “the big tree that’s on that property.”
“I played under that tree when I was 8 years old and it was as big (then) as it is now,” he said. “I can just about guarantee you it’s over 100 years old.”
City Council ended up delaying a vote to rezone the property from highway business to planned residential development and enable the townhomes project to go forward.
Particularly, council members wanted the developer to produce a revised site plan.
City Council said it would like to see no access to the townhomes from Allen Street, which runs by Oakwood Elementary.
“There’s already enough traffic congestion in that general area,” Wood said.
City Manager Stan Brown has said that “if the site plan is approved and this project moves forward, there will be an access to (Thurmon Tanner).”
Thurmon Tanner is a major four-lane road running just outside Oakwood’s downtown area and extending south to Flowery Branch.
Councilwoman Sheri Millwood said the council also “would like to see a site plan that (shows) some of the units with double-car garages,” she said.
The development now features one-car garages as part of two-story homes, as well as sidewalks. The homes would be priced in the $180,000 range.
As for the tree, “my first request was to save (it),” Wood said. “My second request is that the wood be used out of that tree, to be milled. We would ask the developer to have that done for us.”
Oakwood Planning Commission recommended approval in March with conditions that 15 overflow parking spaces be added to site plans and that a homeowners association regulates no parking on the street running through the neighborhood.