Grayson council delays decision on home construction

GRAYSON "If you build it, will they come?"

That was the question taken up here Monday night for more than two hours, as a standing-room-only crowd, most of them Grayson homeowners, spoke out against a rezoning proposal before the City Council that would allow the construction of smaller homes in the Georgetown Commons Phase 3 section.

Despite the lengthy discussion on both sides, the Council, consisting of Mayor Jim Hinkle and two council members, voted to delay a decision until the July 16 meeting so representatives of the developer, Rialto Capital, could meet with City Planner Steve Sappington, to discuss conditions and housing plans for the project.

Developer spokesman Mitch Peavy said the company asked for the rezoning in order to allow Veritas Construction to build 2,400-square-foot homes in the section which previously allowed a minimum of 3,000 square feet. The 65-acre property is located on Moon Road.

The houses in both the Georgetown Phase 1 and 2, according to Sappington, average 4,000 square feet (Including a 2000-square-foot basement). appington recommended passage of the rezoning, while the Planning and Zoning Commission urged denying it in a recent meeting.

"No-one is interested in a 3,000-square-foot home now," said Peavy. "We can accept 2,400 square feet for all homes." Originally, the developers wanted to build one-story homes at 2,200 square feet.

"This will be a stand-alone subdivision, and we plan to change its name," he said. "We're looking to change the size of the home to give the flexibility we need." Peavy said the proposed new houses will be priced in the $220,000 to $250,000 range.

Hinkle raised a question about the Florida developer not being listed with the Georgia Secretary of State's office. "You don't exist," he said. "I think you have a problem. I'm not sure we have a proper owner."

Wendell Wright, spokesman for the Heritage-Grayson subdivision, said the rezoning change will have a negative impact on the property values in the neighborhood.

"Lower-price houses won't entice long-term investment in Grayson," he said. "This type of rezoning only benefits the developer and the bargain hunter."

Another spokesman, Steve Leyden, railed against high-density subdivisions. He suggested the homes on lots next to Moon Road be built at 3,000 square feet or more. Also, he wants underground utilities, visual buffers, 2-car garages and consistent exteriors.