Stockbridge International Business Center proposes warehouses and apartments

Stockbridge International Business Center site plan
The Stockbridge International Business Center is a 310 acre mixed use project proposed on Flippen Road. (Google Earth photo / applicant site plan)
The Stockbridge International Business Center proposes warehouses, apartments, and townhomes on Flippen Road. (Google Earth photo / applicant site plan)
Update: the request has been tabled until a later date and will not be heard during the Thursday, March 14, meeting.

The Stockbridge International Business Center is a 310 acre mixed use project proposed on Flippen Road. Forest Development Group has requested rezoning from RA (residential agriculture) to MU (mixed use) to allow an industrial, residential, commercial, and office space development.

The request is located within unincorporated Henry County and will be heard by the Board of Commissioners to decide its approval. The property is located within commission districts IV and V, represented by Commissioners Vivian Thomas and Bruce Holmes. Before reaching the BOC, the request will first be heard by the zoning advisory board on Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 PM at a later date at the Henry County Administration Building in McDonough. Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting and provide comment during the public hearing.

The project proposes to build 2.4 million square feet of industrial space in three warehouses, 730 multifamily dwelling units including 600 apartments and 130 townhomes, 100,000 square feet of office space, and 75,000 square feet of retail space. The project is undergoing a development of regional impact review with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Atlanta Regional Commission because of its size.

Road access is proposed via Flippen Road and a new roadway that will tie into Davidson Parkway. A zoning condition is proposed to prohibit truck traffic from using Flippen Road; however, enforcement of this condition would be difficult. Truck traffic is a constant issue on local roadways near the warehouses in McDonough and Locust Grove, and there is little reason to believe Flippen Road would be any different should this project build.

The combination of industrial and residential uses in the same project is very unusual. During a recent poll conducted by Moving Henry Forward on Facebook, only six percent out of five-hundred respondents stated that industrial use is appropriate within mixed use development. The subject property is surrounded by established single-family residences and the introduction of warehouses into the area would not be sound land use planning.

Henry County planning staff have recommended approval of the request; however, the staff report does not mention that warehouses are not a permitted use under the county’s mixed use zoning district. The applicant’s rezoning application and letter of intent requested the interchange activity center zoning district. While the seldom used IAC zoning district would support the applicant’s proposed uses, the subject property does not meet the stated purpose and description of the zoning district. The Henry County Unified Land Development Code states:

This district is intended to provide locations at the intersection of two (2) major arterials or at interstate interchanges to accommodate transient shopping, lodging, and hospitality uses, and to provide locations with the highest level of access to meet the needs for product distribution.

Henry County ULDC Section 2.01.05 item B

Flippen Road is considered a major arterial on the county’s road functional classification map, but the property does not have direct access to any other major road. The proposed connection to Davidson Parkway is a local road, the lowest level of classification.

A traffic impact study is required as part of the DRI review process. The results of that study are not yet available and a summary of the recommendations will be published by Moving Henry Forward once they are released. Consider following the blog on social media to stay informed about this project and other rezoning requests throughout Henry County: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. The website provides local news coverage in Henry County, Georgia.