The new development sits across from Cambridge High School and next door to Oakstone Glen subdivision.
Milton City Council approved a 27-home development across Bethany Bend Road from Cambridge High School Monday night that was opposed by several residents in the subdivision next door to the 9.09 acre site.
Acadia Homes planned 28 homes on the site once stakeholders agreed that the site at the corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road should be residential. Previous applications for a church, a daycare center and a nursing home with some residences were unwelcome by nearby residents. The city paid a mediator $10,000 to move the process forward.
The Milton Planning Commission recommened denial of the rezoning request, saying the proposal:
- Does not provide an appropriate transition from Cambridge High School north to Oakstone Glen subdivision. Residential is appropriate but density is too high.
- The homes are too close together and too close to Bethany Bend. The Commission did not like the alley product; no guest parking on the site.
- Internal roads are too narrow.
Guest parking was one of the things added to a site plan filed since that meeting. And Curtis Hicks of Acadia Homes said the internal roads meet with approval by the city's fire marshal.
Oakstone Glen residents and other neighbors to the development who spoke at Monday's public hearing agreed that the density was too high. Their homes are on one-acre lots, while this proposal is almost three homes per acre.
Dot Blair of Cogburn Road said she believed approving this rezoning sets a precedent within the city that will bring developers with higher density whenever the Fulton School System comes to build another school. The city's comprehensive land use plan states the intent to preserver and protect the rural character and heritage of the central Milton area, she said.
Niraj Kumar, whose Oakstone Glen property has a large boundary with the development, said there's no indication of any need for transition at this property. Homes in the immediate area are selling in subdivisions next to Kings Ridge Christian School and close to Cambridge High now.
The idea of building homes for people to "downsize" into isn't very attractive to Kumar, whose home would be next door to this downsizing.
"This is an area right behind my house. That's not a very attractive option, is it?" he asked City Council
The developer said the homes planned for the subdivision will be modeled after homes already built in Crabapple Station in Milton.
The subdivision will include a greenspace area on its western end that's 130 feet wide on Cogburn Road, the full width of the property at that end.
Mayor Joe Lockwood said with the 75-foot buffer between this development and Oakstone Glen, homeowners in the existing subdivision will be guaranteed more separation from the new homes than a development with one home per acre, which would require only a 50-foot setback and not a buffer.
Councilman Burt Hewitt said he had opposed previous plans that brought sewer lines to this property, and he would oppose this development for that reason.
City Councilman Rick Mohrig said he was still grappling with the density and also voted against the rezoning.
The application was approved 5-2.