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City approves agreement to help with future Buford Dam Road extension
08062020 BUFORDDAMEXTENSION
The city of Cumming plans to extend Buford Dam Road to connect with Veterans Memorial Boulevard. (GoogleMaps)

A new agreement will help with a planned extension of Buford Dam Road. 

At a work session on Tuesday, members of the Cumming City Council voted to approve an agreement with Central Forsyth Properties, developer of the planned Mashburn Village, dealing with impact fees and a land donation from the company to extend Buford Dam Road through the middle of the development to create a new thoroughfare between Atlanta Road and Veterans Memorial Boulevard. 

City Attorney Kevin Tallant said that though the city would be able to keep any extra impact fees -- which developers pay for increasing the burden on city amenities like roads, parks and public safety -- the residential portion of Mashburn Village would generate about $400,000, which would not fund the entire project. 

“The way it would work, is they don’t pay anything less in impact fees, it’s just these impact fees will go to this particular project, and if [the city comes] out cheaper when you build this, you still keep the impact fees,” Tallant said. 

In addition, the agreement gives Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow the ability to sign a final contract once engineering issues between the city and developer are cleared up. 

Last November, the council voted in favor of rezoning 55.6 acres on Meadow Drive and Veterans Memorial Boulevard to the city’s planned unit development (PUD) with a conditional-use permit for alcohol licenses and sales. 

Plans for the development, known as Mashburn Village, includes 193,000 square feet of total retail, 320 rental units, 85 single-family homes and 31 townhome units. 

The project will include a multi-story self-storage unit, restaurant, civic space, open and preservation space, a multi-use trail and other amenities. 

The estimated buildout time for the project is 22 months for the commercial and retail portions and five to seven years for the residential. 

Mashburn Village was at the heart of the controversy last year over the fate of Orchard Apartments, a pair of small complexes for low-income senior citizens that have been one of the only reliable sources of affordable housing for seniors in the city since the 1980s. 

Residents received a letter from management stating there was a “good possibility” the land the apartments sit on off Meadow Drive and Orchard Circle would be sold and were “strongly advised” to find a new place to live. 

News of the Orchard residents’ plight sparked an outcry in the community, and the Mashburn Family Trust, which owned the complexes and the property, later told the Forsyth County News that the apartments would not be affected by the proposed Mashburn Village.