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With 2 council members absent, Oakwood reverses decision on apartments
84-unit complex would serve low-income residents
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Oakwood City Council on Monday night approved a proposal to build 84 apartments that would be rented based on income, reversing an earlier vote by the council.

The council voted 3-1 Monday to approve the project. It voted 3-2 against the project May 9.

Two council members who opposed the project — Dwight Wood and Pat Jones — were not at Monday’s meeting.

Voting in favor of the approval were council members Todd Wilson and Sam Evans and Mayor Lamar Scroggs. Scroggs provided the third vote required to approve the project.

Council member Sheri Millwood voted against the proposal at both meetings.

During Monday’s meeting, Millwood objected to adding the item to the agenda for reconsideration. She said “the reconsideration should not be placed on the agenda at this time due to other council members not being present,” according to the draft minutes of the meeting.

Wilson made the motions to amend the agenda and to approve the amended agenda. Evans made the motion to approve the project development plan.

Gary Hammond, partner in Landbridge Acquisitions, the developer for the project, said Wednesday he “wrote a letter to the mayor and showed up at the meeting and asked for a re-vote.”

Hammond’s letter cites the city’s Code of Ordinances and Robert’s Rule of Order to request the re-vote.

He said the rules for conducting city business allows “a motion to reconsider a matter which has previously been voted on by the city council at its next business meeting.”

City Manager Stan Brown said Wednesday afternoon that motions to add the item to the agenda and for approval of the site plan pass muster.

However, he said the motion of support for the project will carry a note in the minutes that says it was improper. That motion should have been made by one of those who voted against the original motion, and the only one who attended Monday’s meeting was Millwood.

Brown said that advice came from city attorney Donnie Wood after a question was raised about the motion being made by a member of the losing side in the May 9 vote.

He noted the council did not approve of the site plan in its May 9 meeting, but if council intended to reject the plan, that should have been a second motion.

Hammond said the approval is another step in the process of building the complex, but construction still would not start until June 2017. It would not be completed until June 2018.

He said by email Wednesday, “We still have a very long road ahead in that we have to apply to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs by June 9 and be selected for funding around November-December 2016.”

Hammond told the council May 9 the complex would be for the “working poor.” He said the apartment rents would be based on income and would be between $394 for one bedroom and $664 for three bedrooms.

The complex would be built on an 8.71-acre tract that fronts on Atlanta Highway. Entrance to the apartments would be from that road. The property is adjacent to Osborn Road, which also feeds onto Atlanta Highway.

Several residents of the area attended the May 9 meeting and objected to the development. Hammond said Wednesday in an email that he has agreed to build a privacy fence around the property — one thing the residents in the area requested May 9.

Benson Clark, who lives adjacent to the property, asked, by email, about the called meeting Wednesday.

“It just seems to be really shady the way it was handled by the city of Oakwood,” Clark wrote. “I’m sure they will say all of it is legal. But no matter. The city of Oakwood has no regard for the current neighbors.”

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