The Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved a motion at their Nov. 13 meeting to recommend to city council a proposed master plan for Richmond Reserve, an 1,100-acre planned community from developer Lamar Smith near Daniel Siding Road.
The plan presented showed a density increase of 2,200 mixed-use residential units, up from the previously projected 1,900 units. Smith said the difference in the two density figures is preliminary projections versus actual architectural work on the master plan.
"Once we actually laid it out, that’s what it came out to be," Smith said. "It does not infringe on the 40 percent green space in Richmond Reserve."
He also said the preliminary plans were drawn based on the county’s figures of only allowing 1.9 units per acre. The new density reflects a one-tenth difference of 2.0 units per acre. Smith also said it is possible that they may not build quite that many homes, but he shot high to avoid having to come back at a later date for a density increase.
Terry Coleman, of the engineering firm Kern-Coleman, presented the master plan to the board. He stated, upon an inquiry from Commissioner Rey Osorio, that the primary entrance will be on Daniel Siding Road, but there will be alternate access via Cartertown Road.
The nod from the board is just a recommendation with the real deal to come up for vote at the Nov. 20 Richmond Hill City Council meeting. Also, this is just for the overall concept of Richmond Reserve. If approved, the engineering work will begin with each individual phase of the project to come before council for additional approval.
"We’re very pleased with the board’s decision and hope it will go as well on Tuesday night," Smith said. "We’re also awaiting a decision from the county on the road situation."
Smith said the fate of the roadways leading in and out of Richmond Reserve is being hashed out by county officials. The tract was annexed into the city, but the roads are county property.
In other business:
- The board voted to recommend disapproval of council the request of Margaret Fennell Judy to rent out part of her home for a professional business office. Many of Judy’s neighbors, who live near the RHES, appeared at the public hearing, held just prior to the ruling, and spoke out in opposition. Among the complaints was not enough parking, not being compliant with the other purely residential area and fear of a precedent being set which would open the door to more businesses in this area and other residential areas in Richmond Hill. This is the second time this year Judy has attempted to gain approval for this.
- The board voted to recommend disapproval of a request by Georgia Outdoor Advertising’s Greg Phillips to erect three billboards in the city. Commissioner Fred Giebrich said he believes the community prefers this kind of signage to be "kept at the interstate where they belong."
- The board voted to recommend approval of council a request from Molly McPherson’s restaurant for a live music permit.