A new development of 290 apartments and townhomes will be coming to Woodstock after initially being denied by city officials in late 2020.
The Woodstock City Council approved an agreement to settle a lawsuit with The Worthing Companies related to a rezoning case the city heard last fall at their meeting last month. As part of the agreement, the city will allow 37.5 acres of land on Ridgewalk Parkway, directly west of Interstate 575, to be rezoned to multi-family residential and allow for a residential development of 290 apartments, which includes 23 for-rent townhomes, to be built there. Part of the land would also be developed for commercial uses, as well as a site for a new station for the Woodstock Fire Department. The southern 16 acres of property would be dedicated to the city.
With the council split 3-3 on the matter, Mayor Donnie Henriques broke the tie and voted in support of the settlement. Council members Colin Ake, David Potts and Warren Johnson were opposed to the measure.
Councilman Rob Usher said he was still in favor of the project and believed it would be an improvement in the area, while Ake said he believed the council made the correct decision the first time and said it seemed to him like the project had not changed much since it had been presented last year.
Darren Collier of The Worthing Companies said because each of the three properties is unique and challenging , it would be best to combine them into one larger lot for development rather than leave them to develop piecemeal. Other than resident concerns about an increase in traffic in the area, there was little voiced opposition to the development, Collier said.
One resident, Sal Perillo, supported the development, saying the project would be good in the area and would be a positive use of the land.
Another resident, Stella Doyle, said her biggest concern was traffic. She said she has seen a number of accidents in the area over the years, and building the community there would only make the problem worse. Similarly, David Fig said there have been times where he has spent 30 minutes just getting from the entrance to his subdivision to the on-ramp to go south on the interstate.
In response to the comments about traffic, Collier said the developer would work with local officials to have a dedicated eastbound right-turn lane on Ridgewalk Parkway to Interstate 575. This lane was proposed to improve traffic in the area until the Georgia Department of Transportation completes a proposed diverging diamond interchange at Ridgewalk Parkway and the interstate.