Planning Commission recommends denial of multi-family project

By Ashley Biles

May 4, 2014

By Ashley Biles

After a unanimous vote, the Upson County Planning Commission is recommending denial for the rezoning an 11-acre tract on the north side of East Main Street/Highway 74 near Knight Trail for the purpose of building a low-income, multi-family residential complex. Concerns the planning commission had dealt with the location of the proposed complex and there being several other multi-family complexes in the community already. The final decision on the matter will go to the Board of Commissioners on May 13.

Zimmerman Properties, LLC. of Springfield, Missouri, is the company petitioning for the property, which is just a small section of a 40-acre tract, to be rezoned from A-R (Agriculture Residential) to P-R (Planned Development-Residential) for a four-building, 64-unit, multi-family residential complex to be called Hardin Terrace Apartments. The complex would be considered low-income housing with rent for the units being $200-$400 a month and there being an income limit in place for the tenants. Representatives from the company referred to the complex as Phase 1, leading one to believe there would be additional complexes built on the property.

While the company owns several other properties, primarily throughout the Midwest, this would be the first one in Georgia. Representatives stated during the meeting they chose Upson County as a possible location because a marketing analysis report showed the community was underserved when it came to this type of housing. However, currently there are more than 10 complexes of this type throughout the county with three located across from the elementary and high school, which is a short distance from the proposed location of the Hardin Terrace Apartments.

After giving his staff report on the rezoning, Planning and Zoning Director Doug Currier, II did not give a recommendation as to whether the commission should accept or deny the request as he generally does. Currier stated he refrained from giving a recommendation because he feels there are both positives and negatives to this type of housing and had not yet come to a decision as to which was better for this matter.

There was much discussion from the planning commission however, with a main concern being the location the company had selected.

“The problem I had with it is they are basically surrounding our school system with this type of housing,” said commission member Andrew Pippin. “It is not that we are refusing to have them here, I just think they could have picked a better location.”

The matter now goes to the Board of Commissioners for the final ruling. The board has the option of going with the planning commission’s recommendation of denial or approving the rezoning. A public hearing will be held prior to the BOC meeting on May 13 at 7 p.m. at the regular scheduled Upson County Board of Commission meeting in the Government Complex.

Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1