By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Housing complex approved near Costco in Cumming
Cumming

CUMMING -- The city of Cumming moved forward with a new townhome development behind Costco on Bald Ridge Acres Drive, though neighbors might not be in favor.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Cumming City Council approved by a 4-0 vote, with Councilman Christopher Light recused due to a conflict of interest, a site plan for 261 townhome units to be built on about 42 acres just east of downtown.

The property, along with the land that would eventually be developed for the store and another tract of about 20 acres was annexed by the city and rezoned to multiple use district (MU) in 2010.

Per conditions placed by the city, the development will feature two tennis courts, a pool and a clubhouse with a pavilion. Other conditions include adding sidewalks on new interior roads and Bald Ridge Marina Drive and that residents form a homeowners association.

About 30 neighbors came to Tuesday’s meeting, including some who yelled out to Mayor H. Ford Gravitt and councilmembers from the audience and left before the final vote.

All neighbors who addressed the council during the required public hearing were critical of the plan.

“Our concern is that we’re not that necessarily opposed to the development coming on board, it’s the [several] issues that are important to us and to the residents of [the development], should it be approved,” said Ron Williams, president of Edgewater at Lanier homeowners association.

Among those issues were noise pollution from construction, increased traffic on what Williams described as a narrow road and safety issues.

As the property is tied to Costco, many residents were angry that a required tree buffer had not been planted on land along Bald Ridge Acres Drive that will eventually be used for the shopping center outparcels.

“Saying that the person who comes in and develops that property is responsible is fine, but if it’s not going to happen for another two years, then we’re going to sit there with a pretty ugly piece of property,” said neighbor Bob Mistia.

Zoning attorney Emory Lipscomb, who is representing developer Canon Place, said it would not make economic sense to add the buffer before the other parcels were built.

“We will see to it that the 20-foot buffer is planted, as we have agreed,” he said. “What I want to do is to avoid just waste, and that is [to] put [the buffer] in and then have an outparcel user come there and be required to tear it out. I don’t think that is good business.”

Both sides indicated there would eventually be a roundabout at the entrance of Bald Ridge Acres Drive, though it would be a Forsyth County project.