The this week denied a property owner's request to rezone a a 51-acre tract of land on the southeast corner of McGinnis Ferry and Bell roads.
Under the city's land use plan, the property is zoned as mixed use, allowing for 299,900 square feet of commercial space and 55 residential condo units.
The owner wished to rezone to a 155-lot single-family residential subdivision, with a 32,800 square-foot retail center.
"[This is an] act of desperation," said John Barrett, whose mother owns the property. "We've tried to market it as commercial, but it's not going to happen," he added, pointing to a 50 percent commercial building vacancy rate in the immediate area.
Ashton Woods home building company was set to develop the property if rezoned as residential. "We don't have any doubt about market reception [for new homes in the area]," said an Ashton Woods representative.
While the city's Planning Commission approved the plan, staff recommended denial as the plan did not meet the requirements set in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
"For me it was a question of if [the property] is appropriate for residential," said councilmember Karen Richardson before the council voted unanimously to deny the request.
The request and city staff analysis is attached to this article as a PDF.