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Alpharetta approves smaller residential lot sizes
by Rachel Kellogg
July 23, 2014 05:01 PM | 2026 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Homes in Alpharetta can be built on smaller lots now that a change to the city’s unified development code has been approved.

A split city council voted 4-3 in favor of the change, which creates a new zoning category allowing detached “for sale” residential homes to be located on minimum size lots of 5,000 square feet.

The city code typically only allowed detached homes to be built on 10,000 square-foot lots.

The request came from city staff members, who said the smaller lot sizes will work better for downtown settings.

But some council members said they think the smaller lot sizes should be the exception and not the rule.

Councilman Jim Gilvin said he’s concerned about the small lots because there won’t be room for trees.

“As long as we’re allowing these small lots, we’ll never again have homes built with trees in between them,” he said at Monday’s council meeting. “There’s never going to be any growth between homes. There’s just not enough room.”

Gilvin, along with Councilmen D.C. Aiken and Michael Cross, voted against the approval.

Councilman Mike Kennedy, who voted in favor of the approval, said applicants wanting to build homes will have more flexibility with these smaller lot requirements to have a “bigger tree save area” within their developments.

Since this is a new zoning category, zoning requests are still subject to a public hearing and must fall in line with standards for zoning consideration and recommendations and goals outlined within the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

This was the second reading of the ordinance.

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Mike Kennedy
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July 23, 2014
This will not allow smaller lot sizes. What was passed Monday night simply creates a new zoning category that better defines certain types of development. Previously, if a developer wanted to build a subdivision of 2.5 units per acre, the developer had to request zoning allowing up to 8 units per acre. The new category passed Monday night will allow a developer to request a more appropriate zoning category of 4 units or fewer per acre.

Also, by focusing on units per acre, rather than lot size, site planners have more flexibility to move building lots around to accomodate specimen trees and other trees worthy of preservation. It also creates greater opportunity to create small pocket parks within developments.
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