Lilburn approves redevelopment zoning

LILBURN - The Lilburn City Council on Monday approved one residential infill district rezoning and denied another as part of a lengthy agenda that included seven public hearings.

The council approved the R-ID rezoning for 4.95 acres on the corner of Main and Church streets in downtown Lilburn and denied a 4.4-acre townhome development on U.S. Highway 29.

"The (residential infill district) zoning was designed to help promote development of underdeveloped property or property that has fallen in disrepair," council member Eddie Price said.

"Many times with property costs what they are, it just isn't economically feasible to develop the property under any other zoning. That being said, each development is different, what works in one part of the city may not work in another."

The rezoning will allow MHC Development to build 20 detached, single-family homes. Council member Diana Preston also added several conditions for the interior of the homes, including requirements for non-linoleum bathrooms, hardwood on at least one floor, fireplaces in at least 50 percent of the homes and high end interior moldings.

"(MHC Development) had priced these homes at $400,000," Preston said. "We have heard that before on other developments and not gotten what we thought we were getting. I just want to make sure the interior of the homes is as nice as we are requiring on the outside."

This project also prompted a change in Lilburn's relatively new R-ID zoning requirements. Previously, the zoning required all developments to be built with all brick buildings. MHC had requested alternative building materials, such as Hardiplank, to better fit in with the downtown Lilburn area. The council agreed that all-brick homes were not a good fit for the area and approved a change to the ordinance. R-ID requirements will now permit alternate building materials, but only under specific approval from the council.

"The (residential infill district zoning) is still a moving target and we are trying to groom it," Price said.

The denied R-ID rezoning was for 29 townhomes to be located on U.S. 29 near Greenwood Drive.

Several residents spoke in opposition to the rezoning citing adverse impact on property values, overcrowding and the presence of similar developments in the area. The city's Planning Commission also recommended denial because of traffic concerns on U.S. 29.

"While I believe R-ID is the right fit for this property," Price said, "I think this development is too intensive for the property. In order not to punish the property owners, we will allow them to reapply for a zoning change in six months instead of a year."

In other business, the Lilburn council:

•Announced a proclamation honoring Leslie Adams and her family. Adams was reported missing from her Lilburn apartment in October of last year and to date has not been found.

•Approved a rezoning to Hospital Service District for 7.24 acres on Indian Trail to allow a 153-bed skilled nursing home.

•Approved a $25,000 expenditure for preliminary design and boundary service for the Lilburn Greenway Trail.

•Announced the quarterly Town Hall meeting for Oct. 30 at City Hall.