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Sunday April 21st, 2019 8:15PM

Student-targeted housing gets rezoning approval from Oakwood City Council

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Oakwood City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of two tracts of lane near I-985 and Atlanta Highway for a dormitory style housing complex.

The complex, proposed by GAH Holding LLC, is geared towards students attending the University of North Georgia. A development representative presented their plan at Monday's council meeting. The design features four, five story buildings with a pod-style layout. Planned amenities include laundry in unit, gyms, lounges, coffee bar, a gaming room, and rooftop settings. Alongside green spaces, the complex was also interested in a proposed trail close to the property.

"It has about 480 some-odd bedrooms, geared toward and configured for student housing. It's located on Atlanta Highway near the Park and Ride lot, and will have good access to the college," said Brown.

One parcel of land was already in the city of Oakwood, but another needed to be annexed and zoned. Just over half an acre at 2808 Frontage Road was to be rezoned from Oakwood Multi Family Residential to Oakwood Planned Residential Development; just over six acres at 2772 Atlanta Highway were to be annexed and zoned from Hall County Residential to Oakwood Planned Residential Development.

Council member Sherri Milwood recused herself from the discussion. No one spoke in favor and only one member of the community spoke against the development. Tread Syfan, who is part of the development authority and owns the property the Labor Department is on, had concerns about traffic and parking, including their own lot becoming overflow parking. 

"We're a little concerned whether the parking is adequate for the facility," Syfan said during his comments. The facility proposed 394 spaces, including a basement level parking area, plus the potential for a nearby permit-only lot. "This is a little different than normal living quarters, in that a lot of students have cars these days. You could have more than two or three cars per room, possibly."

Syfan was also concerned the traffic study would be done after the rezoning and asked council to consider that. He said they were also concerned about the overall density of the units.

The remaining council members voted unanimously to rezone the Frontage Road parcel, annex, hold first reading on the ordinance and rezone the Atlanta Highway parcel. 

"What happened tonight (Monday night) is basically , the rezoning was approved nd the site plan by the developer was approved. The next step is then the developer will submit construction plans, it'll go through a review process through DOT, the state DOT, for access approval, and then storm water review, traffic impact analysis and all those things will be looked at. There's still a little ways to go before they start construction," said Brown.

Brown said the University had not provided any specific comments regarding the development, but also said the student population was still growing.

The council members, including Millwood, also voted unanimously to rename a portion of Frontage Road to Commons Drive. The road is near the college-targeted cottage development, now called University Commons. Brown noted in the presentation that Frontage Road was at one point shifted, and it no longer made sense to call that portion of the road Frontage Road anyway.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: University of North Georgia, oakwood, Oakwood City Council
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