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Lilburn council denies zoning for senior housing development

LILBURN - Before an overflowing crowd of orange-clad city residents, the Lilburn City Council on Monday night unanimously denied a controversial mixed-use rezoning development earmarked for senior citizen housing and commercial office/retail space at the southern corner of the Killian Hill and Arcado roads intersection. The present R-100 (residential) zoning will remain the same.

Council action occurred following recommendation for denial by the City Planning Commission and staff. The applicant, Match Properties, wanted to construct multiple buildings on two tracts and a flag lot, including 24,000 square feet of commercial space, 9,000 square feet of office space and 120 senior residential units.

"The R-100 zoning is unconstitutional," Scott Peters of Match Properties said. "The property has no economic use as is. We attempted to reach a consensus with the opposition."

Peters added that traffic concerns was one reason the property couldn't be developed for residential use.

Leading the orange-shirted opposition was Mike Smith of Wesley Court. Smith said the new development would not fit in with the school and recreational facilities in the neighborhood.

"The developers want a competitive advantage of being near this residential area," he said. "Don't hand them the competitive advantage at our expense," he told the council. "The retail component is not appropriate to this area."

Richard Atwood, another resident, said the new development would double the traffic there.

"The new area would increase traffic," he said. "More development gives you more traffic."

Resident Emily Harvey added the development would not be pedestrian-friendly because of the traffic.

"For the future of Lilburn, please deny this zoning request," she said.

Susan Redd, who owns a single-family home near the proposed site, said the new redevelopment would negate the qualities of the area, including lack of congestion, peace and quiet and quality schools.