Tucker City Council rejects request for more rental units at Rocklyn Homes’ project

A screenshot of the Tucker City Council at its Dec. 13 meeting.

Tucker, GA — Rocklyn Homes tried to influence neighbors, Tucker Planning Commission and City Council members to remove a limit on rental units at 3281 Tucker Norcross Road but was eventually shot down.

Tucker City Council voted on Dec. 13 to deny a modification to a proposal for 80 townhomes with up to 25% rentals. Rocklyn Homes petitioned that a current zoning condition – one put in place by DeKalb County before Tucker’s cityhood – no longer reflects the Missing Middle housing market.

“This property has been a problem site for a very long time. It was developed 15 years ago. It has been a pipe farm and an eyesore since that time,” said Den Webb, attorney for Rocklyn Homes. “The only reason we’re here now is because of an older DeKalb County condition that we’re still dealing with.”

It’s been an uphill battle for Rocklyn Homes since August, when nearby residents began naming issues including sewer, runoff, traffic, school crowding and crime at meetings about the property.

In October, city staff and Planning Commission recommended a denial of the application.

Staff has received several dozen letters of opposition, said Planning and Zoning Director Courtney Smith.

Webb said Rocklyn Homes has three options at this point: To operate the property as a rental community, to sell the property or to bring down costs by lessening the quality of the product.

“It’s difficult for me to see a value for Rocklyn Homes to continue as the single owner of this, and find a cost benefit that makes much sense …” said Councilmember Pat Soltys. “What is the cost benefit for rental versus selling?”

Webb said he could not answer the question because it was a business decision. What’s driving Rocklyn Homes’ cost are infrastructure costs, sewer rerouting and environmental issues; construction costs have risen unrelated to supply chain issues, said Webb.

City Council members voted unanimously to deny the removal of conditions.

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