Request to Build Homes Near Long Indian Creek Opposed by Neighborhood
A rezoning request and two concurrent variance requests have been submitted seeking to develop 12 single family homes on a plot of 2.88 acres at 11085 State Bridge Road in Johns Creek. The property is currently zoned C-1 (Community Business District), and the request is seeking a change to R-5A (Single Family Dwelling District allowing up to 5 homes per acre). The density of the proposed development is 4.17 units per acre.
The project would be situated on a pie-shaped plot of land. It is bordered on the east by Long Indian Creek, and part of the property is within the 100 year flood plain. Despite the growing awareness of our stormwater issues in Johns Creek, the request and accompanying plans do not indicate any special efforts to mitigate the increased impervious surface area that the development would produce.
Another factor of consideration is that Long Indian Creek is part of the Big Creek Watershed. This watershed is the subject of a study that was a cooperative effort between Cherokee, Forsyth, and Fulton Counties, as well as the cities of Alpharetta, Cumming, and Roswell to develop a mutually agreeable water quality protection plan for the Big Creek Watershed. The study pre-dates the establishment of the City of Johns Creek. While it’s not clear if Johns Creek adopted the recommendations of the study, the Big Creek Watershed is clearly critical to the area’s water quality and should be a factor in any decision that may have a negative impact on Long Indian Creek.
In order to accommodate 12 homes in the property, two zoning variances are requested in addition to the change from C-1 to R-5A. One variance requests a reduction in the minimum distance between dwellings from 14 feet to just 10 feet. The other variance requests a reduction in the perimeter setback from 40 feet to just 5 feet.
Sample elevations submitted with the application show three story homes with dormers at the fourth level attic. This is a cause for concern for adjacent homeowners in the Long Indian Creek neighborhood. Homes in that existing community are primarily single-level ranch and split level home designs. The combination of the drastically reduced setbacks and much higher homes proposed in this development would have a negative impact on privacy and aesthetics.
Traffic is an ever-present concern in Johns Creek, and State Bridge Road is heavily impacted as a major east-west corridor. The rezoning proposal estimates an additional 114 daily trips will be generated as a result of the project. This estimate is based on the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Handbook, 9th Edition. The current version of the ITE Handbook is the 10th Edition, and resulting estimates would be higher using that reference.
Neighbors have organized a petition requesting that the city deny the rezoning and concurrent variance requests (RZ-18-008, VC-18-008-01 & VC-18-008-02). Like-minded residents are encouraged to join the petition. While the impacts of the requested zoning and concurrent variances may seem isolated, it’s important to understand that once a rezoning and variances are approved, they become the precedent that will be cited by future requests. That ultimately undermines the intent of zoning and becomes the slippery slope exploited to drive development in unintended directions.
Join the petition to deny RZ-18-008, VC18-008-01, and VC18-008-02 here.