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Complex changes sought

POSTED: April 25, 2012 4:00 a.m.

The Dawsonville City Council is scheduled to discuss variance requests for a proposed apartment complex Thursday night.

Plans call for Farmington Woods to be built on 15 acres off Perimeter Road, less than a mile from downtown. It will feature 72 units, including one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

"The goal is to bring high quality, affordable housing to the low-income segment of Dawsonville," said engineer Byron Arceneaux, who is acting as an independent consultant to the project.

Arceneaux and Kevin Buckner, the complex's owner, developer and contractor, have presented information about the proposal to the council in recent months. The city approved the project in December.

In late February, Michael Brandt, vice president of TGB Residential, which will manage the project, submitted three variance requests to council that were later presented at the March 5 meeting.

The variance requests included: 40 fewer parking spaces, from 194 to 154; reducing the number of new trees from 225 to 112; and lowering water and sewer concerns by using individual meters.

The city's planning commission has voted to recommend that city council approve variance requests for the project.

During a meeting April 16, Buckner told the planning commission work on the project could start in mid-summer and take 14 months to complete.

Planning commission member Ken Breeden said he recommended the variances mainly because he approves of the development's potential benefits to the local economy.

"This is a good opportunity for jobs so I will make a motion," he said at the meeting.

Their variances go before city council during a work session and special called meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the G.L. "Pete" Gilleland Council Chambers at city hall, 415 Hwy. 53 East.

"It looks like a neat project," said James Grogan, acting mayor. "We are excited about them coming to our community.

"We are going to do all we can to welcome them, and I hope they will be an integral part of our city for a long time."

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