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Old 09-24-2014, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Smyrna, GA
145 posts, read 119,087 times
Reputation: 135

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Smyrna Resident Here,

My HOA sent over some information about a re-zoning request for a property down the street from me being eyed by Venture Homes. I plan to attend the hearing on 10/6 to learn more. On face, this appears to be sub-par to what Belmont Hills and Smyrna Grove are proposing. Below is an excerpt from the notice:

"Venture Homes is requesting the rezoning of 619 Church Road from R-15 and RTD to RTD- Conditional for the development of a 49 unit townhome subdivision at a density of 3.71 units per acre. The 49 units will be split between 7 buildings with four 8-unit buildings, two 6-unit buildings and one 5-unit building. The applicant is proposing two different styles of townhomes within the subdivision; a three-story rear-entry townhome along Church Road and a two-story front-entry townhome within the interior of the of the development. The three-story product will be 21 wide and will employ a variety of traditional architectural features. The two-story product will be 26 wide and will employ a variety of traditional architectural features. The building facades will include, but not be limited to brick, stone, cement-fiber siding, wood or cement-fiber shingles, and other materials per the attached rendering. The applicant has provided colored renderings and floor plans for both townhome products for review with the zoning application.

The subject property is 13.203 acres in size. The developer is proposing to develop only 4.49 acres of the property with the remaining 8.71 acres being left as open space. These 8.71 acres are located in a floodplain and are undevelopable. There are several identified streams that run through the property. The first stream runs from South Cobb Drive to Old Concord Road along the northern property line and the second stream enters from the south of the property from Church Road and runs north to the first stream above. The applicant has identified the streams on the proposed site plan and has designed the project to provide the required city and state buffers. In addition to the stream buffers, the applicant has identified an error with the FEMA Flood Maps and is currently going through the process of a map revision. The process should be completed by the middle of October."

I am not in real estate, but 49 homes on 4.5 acres doesn't seem like something a quality home-owner would look to purchase. My concern is that they will be bought by investors and rented out.

Any feedback or insights would be appreciated. First time home owner and looking to preserve the value of my property. Am I over-reacting?
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:46 AM
 
1,979 posts, read 1,703,511 times
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Are you saying it should be denser or less dense?
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:32 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,298,315 times
Reputation: 814
49 townhomes on 13 acres doesn't seem unreasonable to me. these are 3 story townhomes, 21' x approx 41' (plus about 10 feet for driveway/deck). What bugs me is the recent trend to build townhomes without stoops, including this one. The city needs to stop that trend. There's usually a price differential between townhomes with stoops and those without. Most of the townhomes built in the early 2000s in Smyrna and unincorporated "West Vinings" Smyrna had stoops.

I think the city should stipulate across the board that townhome zoning should include stoops, even if there's nothing they can do about this one.

I think the city should also start stipulating minimum square footage per bedroom to get more higher end builds that have extra bonus rooms, etc.

Last edited by netdragon; 09-25-2014 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:06 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,298,315 times
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Btw, don't wait until the meeting if something bugs you about it. Contact the ward representative for your district and our Ward 5 (where the development is going) in advance. Ward 5, Susan Wilkinson.

One other thing to look at is the staff comments: http://smyrnacity.legistar.com/gatew...a7a439d943.pdf
There are some stipulations in there. It also describes the hardship condition caused by the floodzone. The city is requiring things like brick pavers and lighting. I would request that they require a pedestrian bridge across the stream buffer so people can enjoy the common area inside the flood zone. Otherwise, there really is no common area, at least functionally.

In general, townhomes will increase value of single family homes nearby if the right people buy them, because townhomes increase land value because these properties with very little land and only 3br will be in the low $200ks, so over time properties with land like 3br homes on 80,000 sq ft of land, get a boost since the land value goes up due to demand for land.

What I also think is really stupid is that there are 4th floors on the 21' units but no option to have a 4th bedroom at extra cost. I think they should incorporate that.


The math of the units in about 4.5 acres of the 13 acre parcel works fine for townhomes:
Approx 1050 sq ft of land for the 21' unit, including the driveway.
Probably about 2028 sq ft of land for the 26' unit, including driveway
So let's go with the larger size...
4.5 * 43560 = 2028x
x=96
So, 49 units is fine since there's ample room.

Last edited by netdragon; 09-25-2014 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:55 PM
 
2,328 posts, read 3,557,859 times
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When I saw this originally posted, I was more concerned with the price point for these townhomes. Based on the Venture website, they typically are under $200,000 which would be my concern.

I would want to hear what price these are expected and their target home buyer
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:56 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,298,315 times
Reputation: 814
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorilove View Post
When I saw this originally posted, I was more concerned with the price point for these townhomes. Based on the Venture website, they typically are under $200,000 which would be my concern.

I would want to hear what price these are expected and their target home buyer
Judging by their map, all of their other developments are in lower priced areas where townhomes are less popular, so it's tough to estimate what they'll do in Smyrna based on prices elsewhere. However, these are 3br/3.5bat units so judging by similar newish townhomes in Surrey Park off of Church Rd (these have 1 more bath, and decks) I expect them to be in the low $200ks, probably slightly above Surrey Park top asking price of $215k currently due to having an extra bath. I'd guess something like $225k without any upgrades and maybe the first and last few will sell for less for business reasons (it's tough to sell the first home, and then for the last few homes, builders like to get out fast since it's expensive to maintain a presence)
http://www.redfin.com/GA/Smyrna/716-.../home/55357946
http://www.redfin.com/GA/Smyrna/722-.../home/57036868
http://www.redfin.com/GA/Smyrna/690-.../home/25468880

Furthermore, they should help pull up the really old ones nearby, such as this one: http://www.redfin.com/GA/Smyrna/1023.../home/25376590
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:33 AM
 
2,328 posts, read 3,557,859 times
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netdragon

I had the same observation about the Venture townhomes which is why I did not want to jump to conclusions as to what the Smyrna homes would be.

The only way they will bring up homes in the area is if they are upgrading the desirability of living in that area.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Smyrna, GA
145 posts, read 119,087 times
Reputation: 135
Sorry for the delayed response... Been buried at work.

I did reach out to Susan Wilkinson and she is hosting a meeting tomorrow (10/1) at the Surrey Park gazebo at 6pm. I plan on attending and learning more about what other neighbors are thinking.

Netdragon... Thank you for the feedback and insights. Did you have any thoughts on the benefits of building detached homes? For example, continuing the trend of houses starting at Old Concord off Church. With the glut of apartments and older Townhomes close by, I would think larger detached homes would balance out the population density. Also, wouldn't raising the average income bring newer services to the area?

I'll share any feedback after tomorrow's meeting.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:50 AM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,298,315 times
Reputation: 814
I sent an email to the councilwoman but won't be attending. I don't live in that part of Smyrna, so it isn't really my place.

RedClear: Population density of luxury homes is needed in that part of Smyrna to bring in higher average incomes, be it single family homes or townhomes. Either way, it will attract better commercial development on South Cobb Dr and Windy Hill and around four corners. However, think about the effect on statistics of dozens of $200k townhomes purchased by people with $70k-$100k household incomes versus a few $500k luxury homes purchased by people with $200k household incomes (assuming they had high income, and didn't just inherit $500k). This is the NW part of Smyrna with incomes less than $50k/year, though Church Rd is the nicest portion of it. The few luxury $500k home owners would barely make a dent. Whereas, dozens of townhomes with $70k-$100k incomes would raise the average income noticeably.
Additionally, townhomes add more people with less pressure on the schools per 1,000 people (if they were 4br, then it'd be more risk to the schools). Townhomes also increase land value of other single family homes more than single-family homes, since they are better use of the land and therefore land becomes more desired by developers.

Plus, that property wouldn't be able to produce many single-family homes.

I wouldn't compare these to the older townhomes and apartments. They are not comparable. Look at Spring Rd, for instance, and compare Mosaic to the older townhomes near Village Pkwy.

Last edited by netdragon; 10-01-2014 at 03:02 AM..
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:59 AM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,298,315 times
Reputation: 814
In my opinion, the biggest problem is that the whole West side of the property is inaccessible by the homeowners, so it isn't truly common space for the townhome owners. I think they need to come up with a plan to connect that to the development by trail and pedestrian bridge over the stream buffer or cede the undeveloped portion to Smyrna as a park (while still be considered common space) so that Smyrna can make it publicly accessible for the townhome purchasers and others in the area.

I would also complain about the lack of stoops. It's aesthetically lower quality without stoops and they stand out less from older townhomes without stoops. The trend of stoops was strong for half a decade until the recession and now everyone seems to have lowered their standards.
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