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Coweta approves annexation into Fulton Co. city

The Coweta County Commission has given a thumbs-up to a petition by Serenbe Development LLC and the City of Chattahoochee Hills that will result in a 179-acre area of the Serenbe community located in Coweta being annexed into Chatt Hills.

The 178.78-acre area situated inside Coweta off Shell Road (Atlanta Newnan Road) is part of the much larger 900-acre Serenbe community which lies within the city limits of Chatt Hills in southwest Fulton County.

Applicant Steve Nygren and Chatt Hills had requested that the acreage situated inside Coweta be annexed, allowing the city limits to be expanded to include the 179 acres.

Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager and Coweta County School System Superintendent Steve Barker along with Coweta County planning and engineering staff had no objection to the request.

Commissioners on a 4-1 vote agreed with the petition and had no objection to the request. The lone vote opposing the measure was cast by Commissioner Al Smith.

The vote came with five conditions related stormwater management, buffer requirements, notification of Coweta property owners with 250 feet of the 179-acre property and improvements to and access onto Shell Road.

The Chatt Hills City Council is expected to vote on the annexation in the coming weeks.

The annexation will put a small slice of the 33,000-acre city into Coweta County.

Chatt Hills will not be the only municipality that has a footprint in two counties. Approximately 15 percent of the Palmetto city limits is situated in Fulton County.

At present, tentative plans call for nine homes on the property, with 70 percent of the acreage to be utilized for Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) which would be used for higher density in other areas of Serenbe or Chatt Hills. TDRs include, not the sale of property, but the right develop on that property so that development can occur in other areas of the city designated for development.

The long-held position of Chatt Hills is that development should occur within purposefully-clustered areas in hamlets and villages so that up to 70 percent of land within the city limits will remain green. Similarly, of the 900 acres included in the Serenbe community, 70 percent of those acres will remain green.

County planning director Robert Tolleson said it appears that by comparison, the City of Chattahoochee Hills Future Development Map for area of the city adjacent to Coweta County recommends traditional agricultural land uses and single-family residential land uses which are compatible with the recommendations of the county’s Rural Conservation character area. The city’s R-1 (residential) and AG-1 (agricultural-residential) zoning districts which could be approved with annexation or soon after, have similar potential housing yields to the county’s RC-Rural Conservation zoning district, Tolleson said.

Chattahoochee Hills became a city in late 2007 after 70 percent of voters elected to form the municipality. That vote ensured that Chatt Hills would control its own destiny in terms of issues such as development without relying on Fulton County or any changes in Fulton government that might occur which would offset their vision. The Chatt Hills vision is one that has their city stay 60-70 percent open space and remain free of development realities seen across America - endless subdivisions and strip-center commercial.

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