Carrollton officials are hearing from residents opposed to a $20 million apartment complex planned for a site near Adamson Square.
Howard Weissinger, an Auburn developer, is proposing The District at Carrollton Square, an apartment complex with 99 units proposed for three acres at the intersection of Johnson Avenue, West Reese and North Cliff streets. There would be 82 two-bedroom and 17 one-bedroom apartments.
He is asking the city to rezone the property from the Central Business District, C-1, to a mixed use planned development for the apartments and 2,700 square feet of commercial space.
The Carrollton Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the apartments, with conditions, voting 5-3 during its meeting last week. But the city council will have the final say on the proposal during its Feb. 1 meeting.
City Manager Tim Grizzard told council members during a virtual work session meeting Thursday that he has received 25 emails from residents about Weissinger’s proposal.
Three council members, including Ward 2 Councilman Brett Ledbetter, Ward 3 Councilman Jim Watters and Ward 4 Councilman Bob Uglum, said they have been receiving emails, texts and calls in opposition of the proposal.
Assistant City Manager Patrick Eidson told the city council that Carrollton resident Brett Hicks submitted an email with his concerns, ranging from traffic and parking to increased crime if the apartments are built.
Eidson suggested that council members add a condition that the apartments be built with a brick façade if the proposal is approved in February.
“I’m not really prepared, and I don’t know if anyone can table this, but I’m not ready to answer some of these concerns with certainty,” Uglum said during the work session.
He added that Hicks raised the concern there would be an increase in crime, saying this “seems like an assumption.” Watters added this is not something that can be predicted.
“I’m not familiar enough with rental apartments, but is that something we can assume?” Uglum said. “Are there statistics that show that apartments have a higher crime rate than subdivisions? I’d like to take their concerns and discuss them or think about it.”
The proposal includes a parking lot with 219 spaces, Eidson said, but Uglum added that he has heard from residents who said this is either too much or not enough. He said most of the emails he received have come from residents who said “traffic would be terrible.”
“You have to also consider the proximity to downtown and then the adjoining uses of vendors and residential that’s close by,” Eidson said. “To say you’re adding 219 parking spaces and 99 residential units and some sort of commercial, there’s going to be some sort of traffic impact. Unless you had a traffic study done with a traffic engineer, you really don’t know.”
Grizzard told the council they have the constitutional right to zone any property, but they cannot deny an owner the total use of their land.
“Once it comes before you, you can zone it any way you want, but I’m not suggesting you do that,” Grizzard said. “Somebody could ask for manufacturing and you can give them residential. It’s not just a ‘yay’ or ‘nay,’ you can say ‘yay’ but with these conditions.”