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Milton Planning Commission addresses issues with developer plans

MILTON, Ga. — A residential development slated for a corner of northeast Milton moved one step closer to fruition July 27 after passing a review from city planners.

The Planning Commission checked all the boxes for construction of 30 single-family homes on a 45-acre tract on Longstreet Road.

The project sits on a site zoned agricultural meets plan meets at the Planning Commission July 27 meeting. While the property is zoned for agriculture, city code allows for residential lots with a minimum of 1 acre. The development will have a density of .66 lots per acre.

Even so, the developer must consider a significant amount of details, including steep slopes caused by a nearby creek bed. Also, protected wetlands and stream buffers must remain undisturbed.

Milton Planning Commission

Milton Land Development Manager Tracie Wildes and Milton Development Engineer Jerry Oberholtzer answer questions regarding the pending Toll Brothers Inc. development at the July 27 Planning Commission meeting.

At a June Planning Commission meeting, the board asked the applicant to provide topography of the site, an analysis of steep slopes and to identify existing wetlands. The commission also asked that the applicant provide information regarding the site’s stream buffers and hydrology. A tree preservation plan has also since been provided by city staff.

The unique land terrain will constrain some construction.

Milton Development Engineer Jerry Oberholtzer said a few of the homes will call for a more custom design versus “stamp row” design. The 1- to 3-acre buildable lots drawn for each home will include the house and other structures, like swimming pools, septic fields and reserves as well.

“I can tell you right now – this is going to be an interesting project when they submit it for review,” Oberholtzer said.

A few commission members raised concerns about swimming pools on the lots, which are anticipated structures with the houses’ price points. Commissioners suggested the applicant consider the city’s large lot incentives, a 3-acre configuration. But, Ethan Underwood, attorney for Toll Brothers, said his clients preferred sticking to the current plan with smaller lots, citing economic reasons.

Before ground can be broken, the City of Milton requires approval of the preliminary plat by Community Development Director Robert Buscemi. When the preliminary plat is approved, which is already underway according to Milton Zoning Manager Robyn MacDonald, the next phase is Land Disturbance Permit drawings.

The city also requires each house have its own set of building and site plans; three to four sets of plans are expected for each lot, Oberholtzer said.

In response to commission member concerns, Underwood ensured the committee that the developer agrees to provide a cautionary notice about buffers to potential buyers.

“We appreciate your concern in wanting to protect the beautiful area that is Milton, and we think this will add to it,” Underwood said.

Commission member Judy Burds recommended a thorough hydrology study as part of the normal process and considerations for Land Disturbance Permits, that notifications on stream buffers be included by the developer and that efforts be made to save specimen trees. The commission unanimously agreed with the recommendation.

For more information about the preliminary plat approval process, visit miltonga.gov.

In other action at the Wednesday meeting, commission members heard an update on several projects specified within the Comprehensive Plan 2040.

Milton City Planner Jackie Lim has categorized a couple of projects as “potential risk” due to a delayed start date. However, she ensured that the risk is “minimal and can be mitigated.”

Among the highlighted projects in the presentation, Lim said that Lot Width’s (LU.8) text amendment — which would increase lot size from 100 to 150 feet — will require more examples of lot layouts for minor plats and an investigation of maximum impervious surface requirements.

She also said that the City-Wide Waste & Recycling Strategies (S.2), a sustainability project, has been soliciting online feedback about solid waste services. The results will help determine next steps, develop goals and scope as well as project planning.