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Milton residents ask city to cede control of Kingsley Estates roads

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MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council held the first of two public hearings Nov. 15 to consider abandoning all public rights of way for the privatization and gating of the Kingsley Estates Subdivision along Birmingham Highway.

Several residents who attended the City Council meeting said they were concerned about cut-through traffic from Forsyth and Cherokee counties, where drivers often speed, fail to stop at stop signs and pass school busses.

The main road, Quayside Drive, currently belongs to the City of Milton and connects Birmingham Highway to Freemanville Road. In order for the neighborhood to be able to put up a security gate, the city needs to cede its ownership of every road in the subdivision, and it would no longer be responsible for the upkeep of the roads, street lights or stormwater system.

Angela Greene, a resident of the Kingsley Estates Subdivision and vice president of the homeowners association, said she is concerned about the safety of the neighborhood’s children and pets. Just last week, she said, her high schooler was almost hit by a car because it did not want to stop and wait for the bus.

President and treasurer of the homeowners association Michael Gee said the subdivision also had a potential abduction incident in 2019, where someone in a dark-colored sedan approached three children while they were playing outside and asked them to help him look for a lost child in the woods, according to the incident report.

“We have a lot of kids that run, play, ride their bikes in our neighborhood, and this was a very concerning potential incident,” Gee said. “That is also one of the concerns we are trying to address as part of our request for abandonment.”

The experts tell us the new-home market is at a standstill with so many foreclosures, short sales and re-sales. Homebuilders just can’t compete until the inventory of these homes is thinned considerably.

The homeowners association submitted the initial application in 2018, which it renewed in September. The City of Milton requires two public hearings to consider approving the application if there is less than 100% support from homeowners.

Resident Martin Rahinsky opposes the proposal. He and his wife purchased their home inside the Kingsley Estates Subdivision 2 and a-half years ago on the corner of Birmingham Highway and Quayside Drive to be close to family and for the kind of community that Milton is – quiet, country and open. He said his Realtor told them at the time that there were no easement issues.

“I am a veteran,” Rahinsky said. “We are senior citizens. I’ve worked in police departments for 47 years serving the community. My wife worked with handicapped and special children for 35 years. This house represents our lifetime of savings. That’s the importance of this house to us.”

Rahinsky said that out of 96 homes in the subdivision, his is most likely to be impacted because the homeowners association is considering building part of the gate on a portion of his front lawn. He said he is concerned about how the device may affect his property value and whether having a gate opening and closing at all hours just feet from his door will detract from his quality of life.

Greene said the homeowners association has not determined the exact location for the gate because of the cost of having civil engineering plans drawn. She assured the council that the homeowners association will “make every effort” to minimize any impact to the adjacent property.

The second public hearing is scheduled for the Dec. 6 City Council meeting. In the meantime, the council asked the homeowners association to work with Rahinsky and other homeowners to reach an agreement.

In other business at the meeting, the council voted unanimously to extend a moratorium on the acceptance of alcohol applications, building permit applications and land disturbance permit applications for farm wineries until January 2022.

Milton City Council levels restrictions on future alcohol-related businesses

The moratorium first passed in June to give staff time to update the city’s alcohol ordinance. The amendments have since been crafted, but they have to be approved by the Milton Planning Commission and City Council. The moratorium does not affect businesses that submitted applications before the moratorium was passed.

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