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Fischer Crossings: next up, football fields, daycare

The meeting of the Coweta County Commission next Tuesday is expected to include the continuation of a portion of the conversation surrounding the Fischer Crossings commercial development. Commissioners last week on a 3-2 vote denied the rezoning and road abandonment portions of the development request for a Kohl’s department store and other retailers

on the northeast corner of Ga. Highway 34 and Fischer Road in east Coweta.

Still to be decided is the outcome of conditional use permit requests pertaining to the proposed football fields and daycare center properties immediately to the north.

Commissioners last week denied the rezoning request that would have paved the way for the Kohl’s department store as the anchor for the northeast portion of the development. They also denied the abandonment, or relocation, of the portion of Wynn’s Pond Road nearest to Fischer Road and the Sam’s Club store currently under construction across the street.

Despite the denial, developer Scott Seymour said at the meeting that he wanted to move forward with plans to establish three community football fields and a daycare center on property immediately to the north of where the Kohl’s would have been located.

It was during the discussion that issues pertaining to the conditional use permits arose. County planning staff was asked to check with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) on questions by commissioners and report back to the board.

At issue was whether the commission’s denial of the relocation of Wynn’s Pond Road and Seymour’s subsequent inability to cross the existing road (per the commission’s previous agreement with the Featherston Fishing Club that owns a portion of the road) to access the portion of the development to the north will be at odds with GRTA’s requirement for interparcel access through the entire development.

The subject properties were originally intended for a septic area until Seymour bought in to the county’s sewer system, making that use of the property unnecessary.

The commission in a split vote last week sided with the property owners of the long-established Featherston Fishing Club at Wynn’s Pond and denied a rezoning proposal that would have placed a Kohl’s department store and other retailers on the northeast corner.

Commissioner Randolph Collins made a motion to deny the rezoning request, followed by a second from Commissioner Tim Lassetter. The vote was 3-2, with Commissioner Paul Poole also voting to deny the request and commissioners Al Smith and Rodney Brooks opposed.

The board then voted unanimously to deny the road abandonment request.

The rezoning and road abandonment requests were recommended for approval by the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals but recommended for denial by the county Planning and Zoning Department. The recommendation for denial was based significantly on an agreement approved by commissioners in 2006 and 2007 designed to protect Wynn’s Pond Road and the adjacent historic neighborhood and the failure of the developer to obtain 100 percent agreement of the Wynn’s Pond community. Another reason for the recommendation cited concerns that Wynn’s Pond Road, if rerouted to the north, would affect future transportation funding.

Other portions of the Fischer Crossings development include the 136,000 square-foot Sam’s Club and 40,000 square-foot NCG Cinemas now under construction. In total, commissioners previously approved several hundred thousand square feet of retail for the expansive development that was indicated in the county’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Map.

The entire project received previous approval as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) from the Three Rivers Regional Commission along with approval from GRTA.

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