City Council approves Wieland development, more trees on Square
by Rachel Miller
September 12, 2013 12:31 AM | 4130 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Jeff Kingsfield,  president of  the Atlanta Division of John Wieland Homes, LLC, Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, John Wieland Homes founder John Wieland and City Councilman Anthony Coleman walk the stalled residential area two blocks from the Marietta Square, between Wayland and Waterman Streets, discussing the plans for townhouse and single-family homes in August. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Jeff Kingsfield, president of the Atlanta Division of John Wieland Homes, LLC, Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, John Wieland Homes founder John Wieland and City Councilman Anthony Coleman walk the stalled residential area two blocks from the Marietta Square, between Wayland and Waterman Streets, discussing the plans for townhouse and single-family homes in August.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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MARIETTA — The City Council on Wednesday 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 Cobb County Central 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.

Comments
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CitizenMarietta
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September 12, 2013
I assume Goldtein abstained from the vote due to potential conflict of interest. On the most basic level.... HOW can Goldatein possibly be an effective member of city council if he removes himself from every issue that conflicts with his business. In my opinion, he absolutely should not be involved in certain issues related to the square and the surrounding properties. It's a defined instance of conflict of interest. That being said... the citizens he represents deserve to have a vote cast on their behalf on all issues that come before the council.
anyone listening
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September 12, 2013
This is extremely positive and welcomed!! Thanks to all involved!

It would be great if we can pave the other side of Polk from Lindley to Cleburne so we can walk to the Square safely. Crossing Polk is crazy especially at the top of the hill by the cemetery and Debonaire. Maybe a crosswalk or a 4 way stop could be installed and better speed enforcement. Tower Road has received tons of improvements and speed control devices and Polk can't seem to get anything and there are two schools and residential homes. We need more pedestrian friendly ways to navigate through our city.

And more options for al fresco dining on the square!!
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