Two apartment complexes were denied by Oakwood City Council at their meeting Monday night, following vehement opposition by city residents.
14 people opposed a 55 and over apartment complex proposed by Shadow Stone Partners LLC. The developer proposed to rezone just over 5 acres on 4642, 4646, 4652 and 4658 Woodlane Dr. from Single Family Residential to Planned Residential Developments.
"Y'all are here for one purpose. One purpose. And that is to protect the citizens from what I deal with every day. These are big box, snake oil salesmen. That plan ain't going to happen. As soon as they get in the door, it's gonna go elsewhere," said Kilby, who is a land surveyor by trade and has lived in the area in question for 50 years. He described the are as a life-long residential neighborhood. "If this goes in, it will destroy that community. Period."
His concerns about community were echoed by fellow neighbors, many of whom also worried about crimes rates increasing and the proposed apartment community not retaining its 55 and over designation. The council ultimately denied the project.
Shadow Stone Partners LLC had previously been before the Oakwood City Council about a development on Allen Street, that caused controversy over a historic oak tree on the property.
After asking for the rezoning request to be tabled to the June 11 meeting, the application for 3625 McEver Rd. LLC to rezone 11.27 acres at 3625 McEver Rd. and 3634 Pleasant Hill Rd. from Hall County Agricultural to Oakwood Planned Residential Development was taken off the table at Monday's meeting.
8 people spoke in opposition of the development, including William Oberholtzer, who owns The Oaks Miniature Golf course on Whiting Road. The course is next door to the lot in the proposal, and Oberholtzer was worried about environmental impacts.
"There's a 25 foot buffer that's a statewide deal. And there's an additional 25 foot buffer that Oakwood requires... what I find interesting in this project is if it was built in Hall County - as Hall County and not an Oakwood property - they would be held to an additional 25 foot impervious buffer. I would request considering throwing on an additional buffer," said Oberholtzer, noting that the additional buffer was designed to protect Lake Lanier.
Other neighbors, like Marianna Jackson, were worried about the future of their community. "As I stated in the last meeting here, I am very much opposed to this, not only to the traffic but to the noise, the privacy, my property value will probably go down," said Jackson, who has lived at her property across the road for 30 years. "More than 10 years ago, this same property, another developer attempted to build on it and at that time he was told the topography was not deemed appropriate for building homes. My point is, what has changed about the land?"
No one spoke in favor of the development, nor was the developer at the meeting. The request was denied.