MARIETTA - The Marietta City Council recently gave the green light to developer John Wieland to build 111 homes on the site of the former Clay Homes complex a few blocks from the Square.
The council also directed staff to move forward with lining downtown streets with more trees as part of a continuing street scaping project.
Smyrna-based John Wieland Homes will develop 12 acres on the south side of Roswell Street near the Charles D. Switzer Public Library into 48 single-family detached homes, eight duplexes and 55 townhomes.
The detailed plan, including the layout of the development, landscaping and architectural designs, was approved 6-0-1, with Councilman Philip Goldstein abstaining.
Construction could start in January on the mixed-use village known at Meeting Park with almost one acre of commercial space.
The detached homes in Meeting Park will be priced in the $400,000s and are on 40-foot-wide lots. The four-story townhomes will start in the $300,000s, but will reach the upper $400,000s for ones with mountain views or that overlook downtown.
Council and citizen concerns
After council members raised the issue that the public roads in the Wieland development would not meet city code requirements, a variance was granted to the construction plans.
The city requires two-lane roads to be at least 50 feet wide, but the streets in Meeting Park can be as narrow as 22 feet from curb to curb, with the sidewalks a foot less than normally required.
Chris Johnson, who lives on Waterman Street, asked the council to add "no parking" signs along his street, even in front of his home, so that future residents and guests of Meeting Park would not cause congestion in the neighborhood.
Johnson said although he is worried that townhomes being erected next to his house may decrease his property's value, he was still in favor of the residential development.
"This is a plan I would support 99.9 percent," Johnson said.
Placeholders for two tracts of commercial development are not finalized. John Wieland Homes will submit final plans for those portions at a later time to the City Council.
Shading the Square
Based on recommendations by the city's Vision 20/20 Committee, the council unanimously voted to street scape Mill Street and Whitlock Avenue west of the Square and Powder Springs Street and Atlanta Street south of the Square.
Between January and April, the city installed new sidewalks, pedestrian-level lighting and trees along Church Street north of Mill Street, costing $220,000 in 2011 SPLOST funds.
City Manager Bill Bruton told the council in August that there was enough money in the SPLOST fund for improvements to two more streets downtown. The fund has $734,000 left.
The city is restricted to a four-month window for construction around the Square, after the winter holiday season in January and before the outdoor festival period starting in May.