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New Fayetteville zoning welcomes studios

It’s approved: the amendment to the Planned Community District (PCD) zoning that will permit the expected growth related to the movie and television industry in Fayetteville. The vote was unanimous and without any discussion at the June 20 meeting of the Fayetteville City Council.

Both the Pinewood Atlanta studio project and other potential developments on and near Sandy Creek Road and the proposed Knotty Pine residential development on Grady Avenue near downtown are expected to qualify under the zoning amendment.

Unlike the zoning category prior to the amendment, PCD zoning now allows single-use projects that would best benefit the city under the PCD classification to be considered for approval. Prior to the amendment the ordinance required that PCD projects should consist of more than one land use.

“This is an opportunity to identify other areas (in the zoning district) that need to be amended,” Fayetteville Community Development Director Brian Wismer said earlier this month.

One provision in the amendment includes the addition of “film production facilities and related services” under the approved PCD commercial uses.

Wismer told council members June 6 the PCD zoning category needed to be updated due to the timelines on the upcoming annexation of properties on the city’s northwest side, including the 288-acre property on which Pinewood Atlanta will be located, and adjacent parcels totaling 169 acres that includes the former Rivers Elementary School, and the expected development of other properties such as the large Knotty Pine residential proposal on Grady Avenue expected to consist of 400 apartments, townhouses and cottages.

The proposed amendment would also permit universities under the conditional use provision where before the only educational facilities noted in the ordinance pertained to public, parochial and private schools.

“We’ve added student housing (to the ordinance) due to the current talk about an educational component to Pinewood,” said Wismer, adding that the amendment would also pertain to elder care facilities.

Another addition to the PCD zoning deals with transportation access to a PCD development. The previous provision that a PCD development must be located only on a collector or major street has been revised to allow the development have ingress and egress to the existing street network where appropriate.

Councilman Walt White prior to the unanimous vote reiterated that the amendment would give council members the option to approve projects under the amended zoning but would not require such approval.

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