Tucker Planning Commission declines to recommend 80 townhomes on Tucker Norcross Road

The Tucker Planning Commission met on Oct. 21. Screenshot by Logan C. Ritchie

Tucker, GA — Tucker’s Planning Commission was busy in October, hearing a long list of plans from residential and commercial development to rezoning property on the Tucker-Clarkston border.

Planning Commission voted 4-2 to recommend Phoenix Wellness Center opening a second location at 2088 Idlewood Drive. Conditions included the prohibition of CBD sales due to proximity to Tucker Middle School. Planning Commissioners Cara Schroeder and Michael Thomas voted not to recommend the Special Land Use Permit (SLUP), which is required when a different type of business opens in a space.

Tucker resident Natalie Phoenix has owned a wellness center in Little Five Points for three years where she offers massage, flotation and other services. The Tucker location will focus on massage, waxing and facials.

“My vision is to bring a unique wellness experience to Tucker,” said Phoenix. “I’d like to focus on partnering with the local community to offer free services and events and fundraisers.”

Phoenix will have a public hearing at City Council on Nov. 8.

Next, Planning Commission heard about the Rocklyn Homes project to build 80 rental townhomes at 3281 Tucker Norcross Road. The proposal states each 1,500-square foot unit will be three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms with a single-car garage and room for two cars to be parked in the driveway, side by side. Rent will cost approximately $2,000 per month.

The property is 8 acres, and was last rezoned in 2015 by DeKalb County, prior to Tucker becoming a city.

Rocklyn Homes is requesting the change in zoning because the market has changed since the original property was titled over 15 years ago. People are choosing a different lifestyle, said attorney Den Webb.

The parcel has changed hands several times since the late 1970s, but was never built upon. A memo from the applicant states Rocklyn Homes is requesting to “make a major modification to a large, unfinished, single-family attached development site, to remove and amend several conditions of zoning that currently exist on the property.” Rocklyn Homes wants 25 percent of the townhomes to be available for rent.

Tucker city staff noted they have received several dozen letters of opposition to the project.

According to Jim Rodeghhero, a longtime homeowner in Shore Lake subdivision, the lot has been riddled with problems.

“The development pictures look nice. Not exactly what we had expected, since there is supposed to be a berm along the road that protects the water runoff.  There have been water issues with this property for years, and that’s why it was stopped because environmentally it was harmful to the neighborhoods,” Rodeghiero said.

Rod Gary in Lake Ivanhoe said there are no townhomes for sale in the Livsey Elementary School district, which countered Rocklyn Homes’ presentation.

“There are condos and apartments and townhomes for rent within walking distance of this property, and there are eight large apartment complexes within a mile of this property,” said Gary. “Let’s leave the 25 percent for affordable housing for police officers, firefighters and teachers. And lastly, maybe the best thing to do is defer this a full cycle so that the applicant can correct their factual errors in the application.”

Seth Burrows was the only commissioner to vote against the recommendation to deny the application to City Council in a 5-1 vote. Rocklyn Homes will present its application to City Council on Nov. 8.

In other news:

– Hugh Howell Marketplace developer Branch Properties applied to relocate a drive-thru at the shopping center at 4650 Hugh Howell Road. Planning Commission approved conditions of zoning

– On Oct. 19, Zoning Board of Appeals approved the construction of a cell phone tower at 1880 Montreal Court. Conditions include a height restriction of 199 feet maximum and landscape screening.

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