Earlier this year, Mahaffey Pickens Tucker LLP had submitted a change of conditions application on behalf of TPA Residential to propose new multi-family building designs, elevations, and materials from what was approved in 2020 on property located along McGinnis Ferry Road near the intersection of McGinnis Ferry Road and Lawrence-Suwanee Road in Gwinnett County.
Both County Planners and the Planning Commission recommended denial of the change in conditions request for the multi-family development. However, on December 14, 2021, the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners approved the change in conditions request.
The 19.67-acre property was rezoned to RM-24 in January 2020 and included a condition that the proposed buildings of the development be constructed in general accordance with the building elevations presented during the Commission meeting on January 28, 2020. The approved plans utilized warm brick tones and fiber-cement lap siding with architectural elements of ornamental cornices, articulated balconies, and pitched roofs
According to the letter of intent submitted to the County, during the development permitting phase, the applicant decided to pursue a similar but different architectural style for the 346-unit multi-family buildings, including a different color palette, flat roof style plans, and a mix of material elements such as brick and fiber cement siding.
Findings for denial authored by County Planners, but rejected by the Board, stated that while the requested change in conditions would not affect the use of the property as apartments, the proposed materials and architectural details for the change in conditions request did not uphold the same architectural standard that was granted in the original rezoning request and the submitted construction documents to the Department of Planning and Development. Additionally, decreasing the architectural design requirements could adversely affect the usability of nearby property. Finally, the significant change in design, aesthetics, and choice of material colors of the building facades could negatively impact surrounding areas. The McGinnis Ferry Road frontage would be altered by the presence of a four-story apartment building with materials that do not adhere to the design standards, as presented in the original rezoning request.