Transferring Apartment Rights No Sure Thing for Avalon
Alpharetta City Council would have to approve any transfer of development rights–in this case apartments–so North American Properties has no guarantees for its development.
Since Alpharetta doesn't have an ordinance on its books that allows for transferring development rights, North American Properties would have no guarantees that it could get rights to apartments from another site.
The city's Planning Commission recommended this as the way the developer could build its mixed-use Avalon project at the former Prospect Park site and still keep the 250 rental units above retail shops it says are critical.
"We don't have a TDR [transfer of development rights] ordinance on our books. So absent that ordinance, there's not a smooth, clean process about which to do a transfer of development rights," said Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard.
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"But absent that, North American could try to reach a private agreement with a development that has apartment development rights and try to acquire those for use on that property."
Even that agreement wouldn't guarantee North American Properties the use of those approved apartment units on its Avalon property. Without an ordinance in place, the transfer would have to gain approval in a vote by City Council. And Drinkard said whenever you are talking about voting, there are no guarantees what the outcome would be.
Alpharetta's 2030 Comprehensive Land Use Plan includes the goal to have the ratio of non-rental residential property to rental at 85 to 15. The city's current ratio is 76 to 24.
Drinkard's comments echoed those of City Attorney Sam Thomas last week, who said that while two separate rezoning hearings might not be needed, a vote would be needed and no guarantees are assured.
Alpharetta City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. for public hearings, including North American Properties' request for a master plan amendment for its Avalon site.