Developers, neighbors square off on proposed community

An artist’s rendering shows the proposed development along Lake Bennett in Fayetteville.

Developers have their eyes set on a large tract of land in Fayetteville, but neighbors aren’t so eager to see that vision come to fruition. Though the item was tabled to a future meeting to give City of Fayetteville staff more time to look at the plans, both the company behind the plans and residents had their say on a rezoning request for a roughly 145-acre plot that would host a mixed-use development called Folia Crossroads.

On the land on S. Sandy Creek Road and Hwy. 54, developers plan a mix of single-family housing units, office space, a hotel, and retail space. The development would include the lion’s share of land along Lake Bennett, but about half of the land is not usable.

Forty percent will be preserved for an urban farm and hiking and walking paths. The farm, which would be in the northwestern section of the plot, would have commercial operations to supply local restaurants and the surrounding community. It would also be used for educational purposes for local schools.

In their presentation to council, developers laid out the benefits of their plan.

“We see Pinewood Forrest as a complement to the Crossroads development. Crossroads design targets a different market sector and features new-ruralism elements with green space, an urban farm, and residential housing to meet the demand of the local community. Crossroads will provide new housing stock for millennials and empty nesters who want convenience and an active lifestyle with recreation options in a pedestrian-friendly environment.”

Speaking on behalf of neighbors near the potential development, J.D. Holmes laid out what they don’t like about the plan.

“We, as the neighbors, are not opposed to all development,” he said. “We just want to see good quality development, and primarily we want to protect the lake. It’s the biggest asset we all have.”

Chief concerns include erosion and sediment in the lake from clearing and construction, buffer around the lake, noise from restaurants, traffic, added density, and open garage doors facing the lake.

The bottom line for them is not putting the project ahead of the community.

“All we ask is that if you err, err on the side of protecting the lake and not protecting the developer.”

The rezoning request is expected to return at the June 21 city council meeting.

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About

Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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