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Milton City Council Vote Intended to Retain Crabapple's Character

The form-based code zoning puts form over function. Council also decides if it wants to put beer "growlers" on a future agenda.

Alpharetta already has two "growler" stores announced, and the sale of draft beer in a sealed, big glass jug will become a regular occurrence. On Monday at 6 p.m., June 18, Milton City Council will decide if it wants to put the issue on a future agenda for possible adoption.

Growlers can't be sold in restaurants. Stores selling growlers must have a package beer sales license. A recently adopted state law allows cities to amend their alcoholic beverages ordinance to authorize growler sales, making  it a city-by-city decision. (Counties make the call for their unincorporated areas.)

Monday's vote at will not be about the ordinance. On first presentation, City Council decides if it will hear the proposal at a future meeting, at which time council members can make a decision.

A public hearing will be held on to rezone a property next to Milton City Hall and "behind" Kohl's from community business and office institutional (C-1 and O-I), to allow medium density apartments.

The developer wants to build 256 residential units at an overall density of 12 units per acre.

The proposed change in Crabapple's zoning status also is on the agenda. City Council will consider delete the Crabapple Crossroads section of the Northwest Fulton Overlay, and adopt a form based code for Crabapple.

Form-based code puts emphasis on the design and architecture of buildings in the area. At the last Crabapple Community Association meeting, Ron Wallace explained this will allow the city to control the look and character of the community.

No Name June 18, 2012 at 05:23 PM
New Urbanism and form-based codes have the potential to discriminate against anyone who isn't well-connected to the political class. Milton, please do your homework on form-based codes. Read both sides and draw your own conclusions. http://www.openmarket.org/2010/08/12/the-dangerous-minds-of-urban-planners/
Michael Hadden June 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM
No Name.. while you are at it, why don't you scare them with Agenda 21 conspiracies too. New Urbanism is common sense... If you would do your research, you'll realize it's is an attempt to bring back neighborhood building principles that were in place prior to the suburban experiment that began after WWII. Form-based codes are regulation but they are far better for PEOPLE than the standard Euclidean codes that have forced us into the built environment we have now. That environment essentially dictates sprawl by mandating large lots, separation of use, wide roads, excessive parking and putting the private auto above all other forms of transportation. Form-based codes as with any code can be restrictive but designed appropriately, they increase property rights by allowing owners to develop their property for more potential uses. The main restriction is how the building will look and how it will interact with the rest of the buildings and the street which is something that everyone should appreciate. You basically code out eyesores. I guess that's a form of discrimination.
Adam June 19, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Well said Michael! Adam
No Name June 19, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Michael Hadden - Even those who are generally in favor of form-based codes urge caution for a variety of reasons. Read Chapter 4 of this link. It applies to Crabapple since it is a historic district. http://www.scribd.com/doc/83839918/29/Danger-in-too-much-contextual-development Crabapple has done an excellent job thus far of marrying their new buildings to complement the historical ones. Alpharetta could learn from such an excellent job. Crabapple is charming because it is organic. Too many times I've seen greed overtake the desire for aesthetics and then form-based code looks like a walk down Main Street of DisneyWorld. Manufactured. Plastic. You've done a great job in Crabapple so far. Don't ruin a good thing.
No Name June 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Scroll towards the bottom for a discussion of form-based code issues. http://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/normans-first-high-density-development-meeting-and-info-about-form-based-codes/ All I am saying is that nothing is a panacea and there are some pitfalls to form-based coding. It is not a savior. The people in Milton would be wise to read up on the pros and cons before they decide to go forward with it.
Ricky June 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Michael - You have an opinion of what is better for PEOPLE but it differs from what a sizable percentage of Americans desire. In fact the things you express your little outrage over are actually cherished by many...specifically "large lots, separation of use, wide roads, excessive parking and putting the private auto above all other forms of transportation" are ideals which many people strive for. Perhaps in your little world (and obviously you have some financial/employment interest in these matters beyond intelectual since you are well versed in the kool aid talking points) having privacy and the freedoms afforded by large lots and the automobile are negatives, but you are just preaching your ideal of living elbow to wlbow with other bike riders. Form based codes don't primarilly dictate the apearances of buildings, that is just the latest slant of the new urbanists to overcome the national push back to their blind idealism. Form Based codes mandate urbanism, period. To catagorize form based codes as basically coding out eyesores is idiotic. It is obvious that the new urbanists like Michael do not want to explain or defend what the codes really do mandate - they are trying to legislate dense urban enviornments and must use these simplified and dishonest charicterizations whenever and wherever the public becomes educated to these realities
Dianne June 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I agree with you, No Name. Nothing is a panacea, and form-based codes aren't as good as some people think.
Travis Allen June 19, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I'll take this one, since I'm the Chair of the Milton Historic Preservation Commission. Crabapple is NOT a "Historic District", nothing in the City of Milton has yet been declared "historic" at any level, city, state, federal, although there is a property pending our decision on July 16th and we have been working to define a district for the Crabapple area. If a historic district is created, it will have it's own set of guidelines, or an overlay if you prefer.
No Name June 19, 2012 at 07:47 PM
It may not have a government coronation but I think most residents would deem the area to be "historic" in the loose sense of the word. I think most would agree that wouldn't be the same if all those old buildings near the gravel lots were razed and replaced with new buildings. The old homes with mature landscape add a certain character that is very difficult to create out of thin air. There are many more failed attempts than successful ones. It would be a shame to lose all that "history" (maybe "quaintness" is a better word) simply because the city incentivized higher densities through form-based code. BTW, the brick structures on the west side of Broadwell, and the new buildings on the north side of Crabapple Road just west of the gas station are excellent examples. Keep doing that.
Travis Allen June 19, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I'll agree with you there...I was part of the stakeholder committee and when the consultant asked my likes and dislikes of Crabapple I made myself clear. I like the North side of Crabapple Road and the West side of Broadwell...I even like the South side of Crabapple Road. What I don't like is that the South side looks nothing like the others...there needs to be better connection between the designs. Not that being on the stakeholder committee actually meant we had any significant input. M
No Name June 19, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Yes, exactly Travis! I agree. The south side looks good.... in a beach community.... but doesn't really work with the other parts. Our disagreement seems to be semantical b/c we are on the same page with likes/dislikes.
No Name June 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Here is another good description of Form-based code vs. the Euclidean zoning of which most of us are most familiar. Indeed, form-based zoning tends to favor the urban form and higher densities. http://www.miami21.org/TypesofZoningCodes.asp

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