ARC completes DRI review of Reeves Creek development

The Atlanta Regional Commission has completed its development of regional impact (DRI) review for the proposed Reeves Creek mixed use development. The 465 acre project, anchored by a proposed county-owned convention center and 10,000 seat arena, may now proceed to the board of commissioners for a public hearing and rezoning.

As of October 26, the rezoning request has not yet been scheduled before the board of commissioners.

DRI reviews are required by the state of Georgia on all large-scale developments. The applicable regional commission, the Atlanta Regional Commission in our location, reviews the proposal in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and provides comments.

ARC staff comments included the following:

“[C]are should be taken to ensure that the development, as constructed, promotes an interconnected, functional, clearly marked and comfortable bike/pedestrian experience on all streets, paths, entrances, and parking areas. Given the scale of the development and its footprint across 465 acres, this is particularly important in terms of creating strong connections between the various districts within the site, most of which primarily feature a single land use.”

“[T]he layout of uses and buildings within this site could be made more urban and walkable, creating a stronger sense of place. In general, ARC recommends a more “fine grain” mixing of uses on the site wherever possible.”

“[M]ost buildings and facilities within each district are separated from each other by extensive surface parking lots, further distancing people from destinations and therefore creating automobile dependency for internal site circulation. ARC recommends locating more office, retail, restaurant and hotel uses immediately around the arena and convention center, linked with high-quality pedestrian infrastructure.”

Comments received by ARC also focused on Reeves Creek, which flows through the site. Henry County has watershed protection ordinances which require a 100-foot undisturbed buffer and 150-foot impervious surface setback along perennial streams. The site plan shows open space along the entire length of Reeves Creek through the project as well as along its two tributaries; however, the buffer and setback are not identified. There appear to be intrusions into both the buffer and setback. Any intrusions may require a variance from Henry County.

The full report is available to view on the ARC website.

About the Project

Reeves Creek has been proposed by Forest Development Group of Ellenwood, Georgia. The company was formed in December 2017 and has no online presence.

The proposed development includes a mixture of residential, commercial, medical, office, and civic uses. Henry County approved a memorandum of understanding with the developer in May 2019 to build a convention center and 10,000 seat arena on the site. It has been proposed by the county’s financial consultant to bond funds, estimated at $90 million, through the governmental services authority (GSA) for the project. If the commissioners proceed with this option, no voter referendum is required before the funds may be borrowed.

In a residential real estate offering by Pioneer Land Group, the project proposes 545 single-family housing units, including a mixture of 224 single-family detached housing units, 220 cottage homes, and 101 townhouses. The project also proposes up to 583 apartment units.

The project’s traffic impact study estimates that an additional 37,000 daily vehicle trips will be generated on surrounding roadways, not including trips generated by the proposed convention center or arena during events. To learn more about traffic impacts and recommended improvements, visit our traffic impact study page.

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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.