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Development plans for President Street apartment complex gets OK'd

  • Photo from Metropolitan Planning Commission- An aerial of the 10-acre tract where a 231-unit apartment complex is proposed. The site sits close to Epic Midstream, a liquid bulk storage facility for commodities such as caustic soda, distallates, gasoline, lube oil, biodiesel and ethanol.

A proposed 231-unit President Street apartment complex received a recommendation Tuesday for its general development plan.

Developer Mariner Group LTD submitted plans to the Metropolitan Planning Commission for five three-story freestanding buildings that will be located off President Street and Woodcock Road.

The 10-acre site will have a large interior open space and recreational amenities such as a pool. The 231 units will consist of 157 one-bedroom units and 74 two-bedroom units, according to the planning staff report.

The petitioner also asked for three variances, including a 15-foot rear yard setback from the required 25 feet, a 15-foot buffer variance from the required 25 feet and a reduction of required parking spaces from 369 to 364.

Attorney Harold Yellin, representing the developer and its principal, Ian Smith, said their plan allows for a greater amount of vegetation.

“Everything about the layout is done with tree preservation in mind,” Yellin said.

By accommodating the 10- and 15-foot buffer variances on some sides, he said, the property will be able to maintain 49 percent greenspace, including several 75-inch live oaks.

The project had already received approvals for zoning and land use at a previous meeting. The tract is bordered by wetlands, President Street and the liquid bulk storage facility Epic Midstream, which houses gasoline and biodiesel, among other chemicals.

Although some parts of the property fall within city limits, the majority of the proposed development will be within unincorporated Chatham County.

Staff recommended approval of the general plan with the condition a traffic study be conducted. Commissioners approved a recommendation for the plan.

Separately, the Metropolitan Planning Commission swiftly OK’d a sketch plan for a 20-acre development off Jasmine and Bismark avenues.

That site, the old German Country Club on Country Club Creek, was originally slated to be developed by J.M. Ventures, which had proposed a 244-unit multifamily complex.

That plan encountered significant opposition from neighboring residents, who attended two planning commission meetings to express their concerns about the project.

That plan was eventually denied by the Chatham County Commission in October 2014, and a later plan for 89 single-family detached lots was abandoned by the developer.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the new developer, Jerry Konter of Konter Quality Homes, presented plans for the development of 66 single-family detached lots. The lots will vary in size from 6,600 square feet to 22,500 square feet, according to a staff report.

Two neighbors who had previously spoken against the original project expressed support for Konter’s plan, thanking him for taking their concerns into consideration.

“This exceeds our expectations for a single-family community,” said Michael Butler, a resident of Mead Avenue.

The site plan, recommended by staff, received unanimous approval from the Metropolitan Planning body and included variances for the exclusion of sidewalks on Bismark and Semken avenues. 

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