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Developers remain interested in housing for Downtown Alpharetta

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta’s downtown remains a hot ticket for homebuilding, even as available parcels have all but disappeared.

From the time the first shovel of dirt was lifted for City Center in 2015, Alpharetta has added close to 1,000 houses, townhomes, condos or apartments to its downtown core.

And while city planners and residents have called for shifting high-density residential development to the North Point area, homebuilders haven’t given up on downtown completely.

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The City Council is expected to hear a proposal later this month from Mayfair on Main Street which is seeking a rezoning to build 24 for-sale townhomes on just under 2 acres at 217 S. Main near Devore Road. The developer is asking for a conditional use to increase the residential density above the 10 units per acre currently allowed.

The properties were previously developed and used for a strip shopping center and a dance school.

The matter was originally scheduled to come before the council for consideration Sept. 27, but it was deferred for a month. Earlier in September, the Alpharetta Planning Commission approved the development, allowing its request for 13.2 dwellings per acre.

The city’s planning staff report says that while Mayfair’s density would exceed those approved in the Downtown since adoption of the Downtown Master Plan, there are other existing developments with higher densities.

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The applicant’s proposed density of 13.2 dwelling units per acre exceeds the densities approved in the Downtown since the approval of the Downtown Master Plan. However, Alpharetta Lofts has a density of 28.8 dwelling units per acre and Teasley 3 Place has a density of 16 dwelling units per acre. Also, The Maxwell was initially approved in January 2017 to allow a density of up to 16.03 dwelling units per acre.

At that same Sept. 27 meeting, the City Council approved a request for a rezoning and variance to allow for construction of 11 detached homes with side courtyards on 1.6 acres in the Downtown District. The property at 236 and 244 N. Main St. near the corner of Mayfield Road, currently is occupied with two former homes that have been converted to business use.

The proposed development depicts 11 two- and three-story homes.

The site plan allows for the new 12-foot sidewalks GDOT is installing as part of its Ga. 9 widening project.

Alpharetta Senior Planner Michael Woodman told council members that the project is consistent with the Downtown Master Plan and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Alpharetta Planning Commission recommended approval of the project at its Sept. 2 session, subject to conditions related to landscaping and architecture adjustments, proposed by city planners.

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In response to the issue of rainfall runoff, Alpharetta Senior Engineer Eric Graves said the city will conduct hydrology studies to ensure the site accommodates any potential increase in runoff.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, attorney Don Rolader said the project’s position is suited in an area that includes light commercial and residential.

“It’s a multiple-use area; it’s changing; it’s time has come as development climbs up North Main Street and we encompass more of the city,” Rolader said.

The City Council approved the request, 6-1, with Councilman Ben Burnett opposed.

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