Members of the Cartersville Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday evening to recommend approval of a rezoning request from an applicant looking to bring 336 apartment units to East Main Street.
Applicant Robert Jordan Properties, LLC seeks the rezoning of a roughly 50-acre parcel from office-commercial (O-C) and R-20 single family residential to MF-14 multifamily residential.
A zoning analysis indicates the apartments would be spaced out over six buildings, averaging about 56 units per building. The tract up for rezoning is included in a larger 339-acre lot.
“The project site is located north of the Canyons at Overlook East apartment development
at Overlook Parkway, and directly east of I-75,” a City of Cartersville project summary reads. “The proposed project site and larger tract have been expected to develop with construction of Overlook Parkway to Center Road.”
As a condition of approval, the applicant agreed that no three-bedroom units would be included in the proposed multifamily development.
“The proposal includes only one- and two-bedroom units with an approximate equal split of units — 168 one-bedroom units and 168 two-bedroom units,” the project summary reads. “This arrangement is preferred by the school district and is ideal for working professionals who commute and desire quick access to I-75 and the shopping and dining options along the East Main Street corridor to downtown.”
Cartersville City Planner David Hardegree said the initial plan included about two acres intended for office use.
“That was about a 5,000-foot building,” applicant Robert Jordan said at Tuesday evening’s public meeting. “When we first looked at this, we thought there might be a demand to have something that’s either a day care or a medical office building, but our deal is really geared towards working professionals, so the day care thing doesn’t really, ultimately, make sense.”
Comparatively, the proposed project would have a lower overall density than two similar products in the East Main Street corridor. While the Avonlea Highlands Apartments density stands at 13.7 units per acre and the proposed Canyons at Overlook East development is planned for 7.6 units per acre, Jordan’s proposed apartment complex would have a density of 6.7 units per acre.
“What we’ve seen over the last 15 years that we’ve been tracking this area is more companies coming in, more employers, there’s more amenities, there’s more attractions,” Jordan said. “And all of those things have attracted working professionals that want more and more to live in and around Cartersville … what we think those people want is they want to have a community that’s sort of got state of the art amenities, they want to have the flexibility that comes with living in a rental community, to travel and so forth, they want to have the interstate access.”
Jordan described the proposed apartment units as Class-A and market-rate. He also said he had long-term plans to connect the development with the Pine Mountain trail system.
“We see the demand for this kind of product right now,” he said. “Some of it has to do with COVID, I think a lot of people have changed the way they think about where they live, how close to big, big cities that they live going south of here, and then also, kind of how they handle their work environment — what we’re seeing with some of these other projects we’re working on is that these professionals, some of them take a two-bedroom unit and use the second bedroom as an office.”
The public hearing drew one resident to the podium. Dana Kitchens told the commission he had concerns about how the proposed project may impact traffic on Center Road.
“If and when we got to the point where we would put some road in on Center Road, I think that would certainly be up for discussion with staff and so-forth about where exactly,” Jordan responded.
Furthermore, Cartersville Planning and Development Director Randy Mannino said that kind of development would go through a full review and potentially even a zoning process.
“I know that our transportation planners have long thought that it would be a good idea to have a service road running parallel to I-75, between Main Street and Center Road,” said Cartersville Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell. “But they also envision substantial improvements on Center Road to go in with that project … I imagine you would probably see it on a SPLOST project at some time in the future.”
The rezoning request is scheduled to go before the Cartersville City Council for a first reading at a public meeting slated for Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at 10 North Public Square.
Members of the City of Cartersville Planning Commission also voted unanimously to approve a preliminary plat for the proposed Parkside at Carter Grove subdivision at Tuesday's meeting.
“The intent was to make the lots smaller and have more green space in that area,” Hardegree said. “The rezoning actually approved 330 single family detached homes for this development — they’ve gone through the engineering process and done a pretty good job of working through the topography and those types of challenges that are out there.”
The proposed development is located along Belmont Drive, at the southwestern corner of Carter Grove abutting the Woodland Hills Golf Club.
Hardegree said the only major change present in the plat is the relocation of about half a dozen homes, which were originally planned to be built around a sewer line with installation errors too costly to repair.
“They basically had it sloped the wrong way for the entire length of the road,” he said.
Those homes, Hardegree said, have been repositioned elsewhere in the subdivision. He said the abandoned roadway will likely be used by the homeowners association as a trail access point.