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Commissioners to vote on townhome proposal Tuesday

Athens-Clarke County commissioners are set to vote – again – on a potential townhouse development on Olympic Drive.

The proposed development, would, if approved, build 254 townhomes, adding up to some 760 bedrooms in a gated community. It’s not the first time this proposal has shown up in front of commissioners. The proposal was pulled before a vote could be held last September.

Members of the county’s planning commission had several concerns about the development, including the project’s proximity to a planned public utilities and transit facility.

Brad Griffin is the county’s planning director. He is speaking to commissioners at a meeting last month.

"I think just the inherent operation of a transit maintenance facility as well as an as a public utilities plant, which has got to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week … it's going to make noise and I can't speak to how much noise that is," Griffin told commissioners.

Some ACC Commissioners were skeptical of the project, in part because it would require a rezoning of the nearly-70-acre parcel from its current industrial classification.

District 6 Commissioner Jesse Houle, speaking at last month’s meeting, questioned whether rezoning the parcel to residential would deter future industrial development.

"Once you start injecting residential into the midst of that, you kind of negate what can happen elsewhere nearby," they said.

District 3 Commissioner Tiffany Taylor, whose district is close to the proposed development, said that many of her constituents were opposed to the measure.

"A lot of them feel like this will not be beneficial for the east side," she said. "And I'm I'm right there with them."

The commission is expected to vote on the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday evening.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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