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Councilman Gilvin Won't Back Down from Mixed-Use Opposition

The Alpharetta City Councilman opposed more large mixed-use projects before he ran for office, and stuck to his principles when faced with a vote this week.

Alpharetta City Councilman Jim Gilvin couldn't bring himself to vote for even an update to the North Point Activity Center Livable Communities Initiative. City Council had to approve the update so it could maintain funding related to the plan.

Only Councilman D.C. Aiken joined Gilvin in voting against the update, so it still passed, 5-2, earlier this week at a City Council public hearing.

Givlin said he couldn't support something now that he's on City Council that he fought against when he was on the other side of the council dais.

Some projects he opposed were justified because of the North Point LCI, Gilvin said, such as the Peridot rezoning for MetLife at Haynes Bridge Road west of GA 400.

The idea of "proving a character area for the North Point area around the mall was a reasonable goal," Givlin said. "As time went by, I saw this LCI used to justify the MetLife mixed-use project that I opposed. I didn't think Alpharetta needs to have three high density mixed-use projects."

The councilman said he failed in his opposition when he was a local resident facing City Council, but he couldn't change his principles now. Adding 450 or more residents in 10 or 15 years, even if it's on this corridor, makes things worse. It negatively impacts schools.

The North Point LCI suggests adding mixed-use development along North Point Parkway south of North Point Mall near Encore Parkway. Some housing would be built in upper floors of buildings that had commercial uses such as retail on the ground floor.

While he supported the Avalon rezoning and thinks it can do well, Gilvin doesn't believe the city can continue adding more projects like it without impacting residents' quality of life. The problem, he said, is what he has seen approved by City Council "I've seen implemented in ways I never anticipated."

Mayor David Belle Isle said he didn't have a problem supporting the update. But he does think some things that what is essentially an entirely new council since the North Point LCI was first approved would be handled differently now.

"I definitely hear where you are coming from," the mayor said to Gilvin.

Belle Isle said it seems that when it comes to mass transit, it appears the thought was to spend money now to get the density needed to support it.

See Also

Alpharetta Approves Avalon

Alpharetta Council OKs Mixed-Use Rezoning on Haynes Bridge Near GA 400

Gilvin Enters Race for City Council Post 4 to Defend Vision for Alpharetta

Alpharetta Council OKs Mixed-Use Rezoning on Haynes Bridge Near GA 400

 

No Name September 27, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Between the three projects along 400, it is not just 450 new residences but more like1200-1500 between Windward Mill, Avalon, and Peridot. That's not including the big new apartment building on Mansell @400 or all the apartments along Westside. Or all the apartments to be added to downtown and up-and-down SR9 and Wills Road. But most of the guys responsible for it will be out of office by the time the cranes are up and the traffic is unbearable. No accountability, no sweat. True believers or fear of rocking the boat? Higher allegiances to cronies rather than to the constituency? Pragmatism over principle? Who knows the reasons but it all sucks and contributes to the problems we suffer nationally and bequeath to our children. Thank you Councilman Aiken and Councilman Gilvin for your lone votes of sanity. Thank you for your discernment and bravery.
Ellen Kendall September 27, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Thank you Councilman Gilvin and Councilman Aiken. Considering Councilman Mitchell and Mayor Belle Isle also ran on strictly limiting high density, and have done nothing but push and approve it, it's nice to see Gilvin sticking to what he promised.

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