$32 million,77-acre Fischer Crossing project clears hurdle
The issues with the future of Wynn’s Pond Road as it relates to the large Fischer Crossing commercial development on the northeast corner of Ga. Highway 54 and Fischer Road were essentially settled at the July 9 meeting of the Coweta County Commission.
Fischer Partners, LLC representative Steven Gaultney agreed to the conditions that pertained to the Featherston Fishing Club property adjacent to the retail development. The west side of Wynn’s Pond Road is adjacent to the east side of the Fischer Crossing property and extends through the Featherston property then winds to the south where it intersects with Hwy. 54 near the Fayette County line.
Though Wynn’s Pond Road once ended at Fischer Road on its west side, the proposed retail development led to an agreement to close the road approximately 1,000 feet to the east. One of the conditions stipulated that a cul-de-sac will be constructed at the new western end of Wynn’s Pond Road and a gate and keypad will be installed to permit only Featherston Fishing Club residents access to the roadway and the homes located to the east.
Another condition held over from the June meeting dealt with the median cut on Hwy. 54 at Wynn’s Pond Road that has long been a requirement associated with the large Fischer Crossing commercial project. The median cut was part of the overall approval of the development several years ago to provide direct access to Wynn’s Pond Road from Hwy. 54 for members of the Featherston Fishing Club.
The condition agreed to by Gaultney states that Fischer Partners will either install the median break or will provide an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank approved by the county to cover the cost of the installation. Certificates of occupancy for any new commercial construction will not be issued until the median break is installed.
Other action pertaining to the commercial development was the decision on the Fischer Crossing development agreement to be signed by Gaultney and Coweta County. Gaultney during the discussion said he had only received the updated paperwork the day before the commission meeting and asked that the agenda item be delayed until the first meeting in August so he could review the few changes that had been made.
County staff in response noted that the changes in the development agreement were few in number and essentially minor in nature. Zoning Administrator Angela White was among those to note the county staff were prepared to move ahead with the discussion Tuesday night and leave it to commissioners to make a decision on the matter.
Gaultney offered some agreement with the idea, saying that he agreed to the issues relating to Wynn’s Pond Road and the median break but reiterated that he wanted time to review the few changes to the development agreement.
Commissioner Al Smith entered the conversation, saying he tended to take the view of the developer. Smith then asked Gaultney the price tag for the commercial development. Gaultney’s response was $32-33 million.
“He’s footing the bill and trying to bring business to the county,” Smith said. “And I kind of side with him (on delaying the development plan).”
But Smith’s position could gain no traction, with Commissioner Paul Poole siding with county staff. The subsequent vote to delay the agenda item failed even though Smith and Commissioner Tim Lassetter voted for the delay. The failure on the motion despite the 2-1 vote in favor is because three votes are required to pass any motion. The two remaining commissioners were not available to vote since Commissioner Rodney Brooks was not at the meeting and Commissioner Bob Blackburn had recused himself due to his affiliation with the Featherston Fishing Club.
A unanimous vote to approve the development agreement soon followed, but with the condition that the approval was contingent upon a final review by county staff, the county attorney and the developer.
The commission last month approved other issues pertaining to the 77-acre commercial development, including a 1.39-acre strip on the north side of the property for use as an access road.
As originally rezoned from RC (Rural Conservation) to C-7 (Major Commercial Shopping Center) a few years ago, the 77-acre northeast quadrant of the Fischer Road/Hwy. 34 intersection was to be home to a Kohl’s department store that would serve as the anchor and would include a number of other retailers. But that was during the Great Recession and resulted in the eventual loss of the property by developer Scott Seymour after Kohl’s pulled out of the project.
Nearly are the completed Sam's Club and a movie theater.