Downtown Fact or Fiction?

There is so much development happening in Downtown Fayetteville, it can be confusing to keep up with all of the details. As with anything the City of Fayetteville undertakes, transparency with the community is vital, so we believe it is important to clear up misunderstandings.

Below, you will find commonly raised issues along with the City’s answers to them.

If you have questions and concerns not addressed here, please contact Downtown Development Director Brian Wismer: bwismer@fayetteville-ga.gov, 770-719-4175.

Walton Communities Downtown Apartment Complex

Walton Communities is building a 270-unit apartment complex on land adjacent to what will become the City of Fayetteville’s new downtown park. Following are several incorrect assertions that have been floating around for a few weeks.

  1. “City of Fayetteville zoning disallows apartment density in C-1 zoning.” False. In the C-1 zoning district, there is no minimum dwelling size for a mixed-use development, which is what Walton Communities is building here in Fayetteville.
  2. “Walton Communities’ new apartment complex will not have enough parking to satisfy the City ordinance.” While the City does normally require two parking spaces per dwelling, variances are granted in cases where parking needs will be mitigated in some other way. The City has a long-standing precedent that assumes the developer knows best how much parking is needed. This approach improves stormwater runoff and often provides for a more aesthetically pleasing site development.

Downtown Apartments and Traffic Congestion

  1. “More downtown apartments will bring more traffic congestion.” The major culprit leading to Fayetteville’s high traffic volume has more to do with people traveling through Downtown Fayetteville than to do with people traveling to a destination within the Downtown District.. A most recent example is the Meridian at Lafayette apartment complex located on Hwy. 54 between Lafayette Avenue and Sharon Drive. Meridian has around 95 percent of its 210 apartments leased, and the traffic impact of those residents is almost unnoticeable.
  2. “More housing downtown will create traffic gridlock.” Traffic studies are underway as part of the overall Downtown Redevelopment Plan, and we are planning to create more connecting streets in the downtown area to establish a sort of grid system, which will give commuters more options for navigating through, which will be especially helpful during peak traffic times.

Too much housing in Downtown Fayetteville

A petition that originated in 2018 has been recirculated on Facebook recently. It says:

  1. 298 unit planned apartments at the Roundabout corner on Grady and Bouregard (heart of the historic area); 125 unit planned senior apartments on Lafayette called Hearthside LaFayette – 60% reserved for seniors making less the media income; 240 unit planned apartments on Hwy 54 in front of Cleveland Elementary. In fact, the Walton Communities project has been approved as a 270-home, mixed-use development, and the apartments facing the new City park will have commercial units under them on the ground floor. The single-family dwelling component of the Walton Communities project must still be brought to the Planning Commission and then to the City Council for a vote. The apartment project proposed for the Hwy. 54 corridor is neither still being pursued nor was it being proposed for Fayetteville’s Downtown District.
  2. Meridian apartments built on Hwy 54 at Grady – not 100% occupied and I am told crime has gone up in the complex; Heartis Senior Living on Hwy 54 – not even 50% occupied (fifth built in Fayette County). The same developer who built the Meridian at Lafayette apartments is seeking approval to build the Meridian on the Square mixed-use development, which will include 223 residential units, indicating that occupancy rates are acceptable based on market expectations.