Augusta Developer Planning 387 Residential Units At Former Manufacturing Site On Riverside Drive

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An Augusta, Ga., developer is planning to construct 387 multi-family residential units on a 17.7-acre former manufacturing site on Riverside Drive.

The location is across from the Boathouse Restaurant.

Developer Chris Senn said he plans several three- and four-story buildings with a density of approximately 22 dwelling units per acre.

The applicant is also proposing a clubhouse and pool, and intends to provide recreation access along Citico Creek.

The application comes before the Planning Commission on Monday at 1 p.m. at the County Courthouse.

The site was formerly the Cannon IMI plant for shelving manufacturing, but is currently vacant.

The site is surrounded by land zoned M-1 Manufacturing. Adjacent property uses are a water treatment plant (Tennessee-American Water Company) to the west, railroad switchyard to the southeast, Hospital Authority (Erlanger) properties to the south and offices and vacant commercial property to the north.

The site has access from Riverside Drive, though there is very little frontage along this road. Additional frontage and access points will most likely be available from the proposed extension of Central Avenue, which is anticipated to cross through the center of the site. The site is also immediately south of Citico Creek, which was described as "an impaired waterway in need of remediation."

A land use plan shows the residential units toward the rear of the property.

Tracts along Riverside Drive would be left for future commercial development.

The city land office said, "To avoid additional adverse impacts to the creek, we recommend that buildings be located a minimum of 60 feet from the top of the Citico Creek bank, or half the distance of the 100-year flood plain, whichever is greater. Existing vegetated buffers along Citico Creek should be maintained."

The Regional Planning Agency staff said, "Consistent with the land use recommendation of the Comprehensive Plan, the applicant is proposing a medium-density residential complex with nearby access to recreation facilities, including the Riverwalk and Lincoln Park. It should be noted that 22 dwelling units an acre is not an achievable density in the R-4 Special Zone as 19 units an acre is the maximum allowable density.

"The proposal does not meet the Comprehensive Plan recommendation to create an interconnected urban street grid. There are several reasons for this, including the lack of existing development and roads surrounding the property and physical constraints adjacent to the property such as the creek, wetlands, and rail yard. However, the applicant’s plan does indicate buildings fronting on the proposed Central Avenue extension, which is anticipated to have pedestrian-oriented features such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and street trees.

"Since the applicant’s proposal is consistent with the land use and density recommendations of the
Comprehensive Plan, and due to the physical constraints around the property, staff recommends approval of the request to rezone the property from M-1 Manufacturing to R-4 Special Zone. To ensure that design of the development is consistent with the intent of the Comprehensive Plan to create urban neighborhoods in the Urban Infill Development Sector, staff recommends approval subject to the conditions below. In addition, as a portion of this site is covered with the 100-year floodplain and to ensure that Citico Creek is not further adversely impacted by new development, it is recommended that site plans be subject to the new water quality standards as they pertain to riparian buffers and the 100-year floodplain, as stated below.

"1. Parking and drive aisles shall not be permitted between a building and the frontage along the Central Avenue extension.
2. Where parking fronts any primary street, it shall be screened with a street edge having a
minimum height of three (3) feet and a maximum height of four (4) feet above grade. The street
edge shall consist of:
a. Brick, stucco, or stone walls (concrete block is permitted if faced with said materials); or
b. A decorative metal fence with landscaping a minimum of 3 feet in height at maturity, providing a year-round near opaque screen; or
c. An evergreen hedge, with a minimum height at maturity of 3 feet.
d. Highway-style guardrails or security fencing (e.g. chain link) is prohibited.
3. Sidewalks or other pedestrian walkways shall be provided to create internal pedestrian connectivity linking buildings to each other, to the street, and to recreation trails within the site.
4. Buildings shall be located a minimum of sixty feet from the top of the Citico Creek bank, or half
the distance of the 100-year flood plain, whichever is greater. Existing vegetated buffers along
Citico Creek shall be maintained."



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