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Grayson council approves attached senior dwellings

GRAYSON -- Despite opposition from several homeowners in a packed chamber audience, the Grayson City Council unanimously voted Monday night to approve another rezoning change for the 18-acre property at Rosebud Road and Ga. Highway 20, which would allow both attached and detached senior dwellings.

The request from Tom Evans of the Blue River Capital Partners, builders of the original continuing care retirement community, asked for a change from a Planned Use Development mixed use to a PUD conservation subdivision at the Village of Old Town Grayson.

In 2010, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department decided not to fund the retirement community, so the applicant sought to lower its zoning to reduce the number of units on the property. Evans said the new plan calls for a total of 72 units, about four per acre.

"Grayson is unique, it's got a lot of character," Evans said. "We're not selling homes ... we're selling lifestyles."

He said that many of the potential homebuyers don't want the hassle of property maintenance, but still want the amenities of an outdoor lifestyle, including walking and jogging trails, a clubhouse, a pool and a garden center, which he said would be provided.

However, Ed Gilchrist of Old Town Grayson, said the homeowners don't need any more amenities.

"The developer can't maintain the infrastructure we have now," he said. "We don't need a walking trail ... we have miles of sidewalks now."

"I don't see how the community can absorb 72 more units and support the value of our homes," he said.

Evans said the property will have a five-member board of directors that would vote on whether lease agreements would be allowed in the future.

"Duplexes are not in the best interest of Grayson," Dan Yost said. "They are a magnet for renters, and we've had some bad experiences with renters."

"This proposal has so much wrong with it," he added. "Attached housing should not be permitted here. We should be building some type of single-family detached homes."

Some of the property owners complained that they wanted a gated community, and that Phase 1 has not been completed yet.