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Council approves apartment variances

POSTED: May 23, 2012 4:00 a.m.

The Dawsonville City Council has approved two variance requests for a proposed apartment complex.

Planned for 15 acres off Perimeter Road near downtown, Farmington Woods will feature 72 units, including one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

The variances submitted in late February by TBG Residential, the company managing the project, call for: 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 parking and water variance requests were approved Thursday night in unanimous council votes after TBG Residential recently withdrew its initial tree variance request.

Engineer Byron Arceneaux, who is acting as an independent consultant to the project, and Kevin Buckner, the complex's owner, developer and contractor, originally presented the proposals after the city approved the complex in December.

The requests cleared the City Planning Commission on April 16.

"The goal is to bring high quality, affordable housing to the low-income segment of Dawsonville," Arceneaux said after the meeting.

In regards to the water and sewer variance, TBG Residential sought financial assistance from the city.

In a March 20 letter to the city, Michael Brandt with TBG Residential wrote that developers wanted "some help in either lowering the unit rates for individual tap fees due to the large volume of units or possibly giving us some help in getting the water and sewer services to the site."

During Thursday's meeting the council approved a $150,000 credit to be given to TBG Residential at the end of the water and sewer pipe project.

"They will pay the tap fees of $432,000 up front and get the water and sewer lines put in," Acting Mayor James Grogan told the council. "Then at the completion of the project we would give $150,000 to them. Those water lines would then be ours, they would be dedicated to us."

Grogan also clarified that if the project exceeded $150,000, TBG would be responsible.

According to initial reports, the utility installation costs may total $223,000.

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