By Clay Neely | October 24, 2023
Click here to read the article on the Newnan Times Herald
Speaking for Pulte Group Home Company, attorney George Rosenzweig.
Newnan City Council chambers were packed Tuesday evening as opponents of a proposed annexation filled the seats and spilled into standing room-only areas.
Ultimately, the council voted to approve the annexation of four tracts totaling approximately 164 acres on Green Top Road.
Council members Rhodes Shell, George Alexander, Dustin Koritko and Paul Guillaume voted in favor of the annexation request. Council member Cynthia Jenkins voted against it.
The annexation would potentially clear the way for new housing. Pulte Group Home Company has requested a PDR (Planned Residential Development) zoning designation for the development of 300 single-family lots on the annexed property.
The development would contain 300 lots, open space, a density of 2.05 units per acre, a minimum lot size of 8,200 square feet, and an average lot size of 11,284 square feet.
The minimum floor area is being proposed at 1,600 square feet with average square footages as follows: Ranch Pod (65 homes) - 1,860 square feet; Traditional Pod (129 homes) - 2,640 square feet; Estate Pod (106 homes) - 3,004 square feet.
Amenities would include a pool, clubhouse, pickleball complex, playgrounds, a dog park and walking trails throughout the development. In addition, there would be multiple floor plans per home, with each plan having a variety of elevations and color combinations.
Sales price would range from $392,150 to $527,190.
Pulte had originally requested the county rezone the property from Rural Conservation, which allows only .625 units per acre, in order to build a 366-home subdivision. After the Coweta County Board of Commissioners denied the rezoning request, the company applied for annexation into the city.
Mayor Keith Brady and council member Ray DuBose recused themselves from the vote, as both have family members with connections to the property.
Opponents of the annexation cited traffic and overdevelopment concerns that would significantly impact the quality of life of existing residents.
Bob Zeifel, a resident of Heritage Hills, said he and other nearby homeowners aren't opposed to the development of the Greentop property, but believe it should be developed with the same density as the three principal developments in the area; Newnan Pines, Heritage Hills, and Lake Hills.
"The bottom line is you have to decide whether or not this completely inappropriate development that has been repeatedly denied and rejected will go forward," Ziefel said. "But you'll also reveal if you are going to finally stand up against out of control growth that's destroying the quality of life we have in this county or city, or give in to the pressure and influence of one property owner and an out of town home builder who won't deal with the suffering or negative impacts this development will create for us."
Speaking for Pulte, attorney George Rosenzweig said Newnan is experiencing a tremendous housing shortage and the proposed development is an opportunity to help mitigate that.
"We have a Fortune 500 company with an innovative family-centric plan of building communities, not houses... a place to live, work, and play and age in place with people who have driving patterns that won't contribute as much as a normal development," Rosenzweig said. "It's a comment to fulfill a need for single-family detached housing in Newnan with a quality, known developer who has an excellent product and track record."
Council member Paul Guillaume confirmed the housing shortage, which he said is a nationwide issue.
"Newnan is a great place and people want to come here, and we'll do our best to grow together or just go status quo," he said.
Guillaume said the council cannot deny an annexation based of traffic concerns, and Pulte's proposal didn't seem out of line with other developments in the county that follow the county's comprehensive plan.
"When I look at what has been proposed (in the county) and what has been in the hopper and broken ground, some of those developments range from 1.85 per acre, 2.75, and most recently, 10 units per acre," Guillaume said. "It seems that this property falls on the lower side of that spectrum."
Because the final vote was not unanimous, a second vote will be conducted by council members during the next scheduled meeting on Nov. 14.