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PTC planner recommends senior apartment rezoning

A rezoning proposal to build 100 senior apartments off Newgate Road in Kedron Village is being recommended for approval by Peachtree City interim Community Development Director David Rast.

That recommendation will be discussed tonight by the Peachtree City Planning Commission, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall and is scheduled to vote on its recommendation to the City Council. The final say on the matter will be with the City Council at a later date.

Developer NorSouth has said the property would be limited to persons ages 62 and up.

In a detailed memo, Rast lays out a number of reasons the development should be approved including that it meshes with the city’s land use plan. The 5.62 acre parcel is designated for multifamily use, but as currently zoned apartments are not an option. Instead, the parcel is zoned for 21 luxury senior townhomes that never materialized.

Along with Rast’s recommendation are 14 conditions for the rezoning, including a requirement for NorSouth and all future property owners to follow federal age restriction and verification policies, which include the use of a photo ID listing each residents’ date of birth.

The development will be surrounded on Newgate Road by an existing hotel, car wash, convenience store and gas station, according to Rast’s memo. Those working and living at the apartments would also have convenient access to office, retail and restaurant options in the area including the immediately adjacent Kedron Village shopping center.

Rast also noted in his memo that the city’s over-65 population is projected to increase by 95 percent between 2005 and 2030.

Several city council members have expressed hesitation over the NorSouth senior apartment project in part due to concerns the business plan might fail, leaving the apartments open to residents of all ages.

The apartments are targeting seniors who earn no more than about $30,000 a year, and some have questioned what would happen if the company is unable to fill the complex. The income limit is set due to a requirement of tax credits allowed for the project that are granted on the construction end to keep rents affordable. Anyone earning more than the income limit can rent one of the apartments at full market price, NorSouth officials have said.

NorSouth representatives have said they have never had a problem finding tenants for its similar properties. The company also has provided a tour of its Atlanta area developments for council members, planning commission members, city staff and the public.

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