• ReZoning Alert: Behemoth Apartment Complex on 141 & Bell Rd to be Decided Monday Night

    By Staff
    December 9, 2015

    At Monday Night's (Dec 14) City Council meeting is the hearing and vote on the Behemoth Apartment Complex and parking garage on Medlock Bridge Rd and Bell Rd.

    City Staff is recommending approval for this development, despite the poor location, overcrowded Bell Rd and burden to the neighboring churches. Should be interesting how City Council decides this rezoning case...

    Below is a copy of the post we published in October.

    170 apts

    An Active 55+ Adult Apartment Complex, Bistro Restaurant & Fitness Center on 141 & Bell Rd is being petitioned. 170 units on a 6 Acre Lot (25 Units per Acre).

    The tenants are described to be "very active" and the 5 story complex will not offer any level of care or meals etc. A variety of 1,2 & 3 Bedroom apartments will be available.

    A Parking Garage is proposed for the frontage along 141. The developer indicated 275 parking spots, the minimum allowed.

    Zoning variances will be necessary to fit everything in the space available.


    Johns Creek United Methodist Church (JCUMC) Preschool carpool is diagonal across from the proposed apartment complex's only entrance & exit, requiring police presence twice a day.
    Hundreds of cars leave from JCUMC and from the Presbyterian Preschool across the road, mixing in with regular Bell Rd traffic, making for a dangerous intersection requiring police to manage traffic control.
    Johns Creek United Methodist Preschool pays the City for the Police Officers to manage traffic control twice a day.



    Developer Traffic Count Study indicates 849 Daily trips from the Apartments.

    The only road improvement indicated in the submitted plans is a turn lane area to enter & exit the complex (in Red).

    This area Circled in Green will become more dysfunctional as Cars seeking to turn left (blue) into the apartment complex will block the cars exiting the Church (purple).

    Highlighted in yellow is the Urban Plaza, where Bistro Restaurant and Fitness Center is proposed.

    Behemoth Apartment Complex on 141

    Behemoth Apartment Complex on 141

    City Council Hearing Nov 16th, Monday, December 14th.  This will be the first meeting with the newly elected council of Post 2 & 5 (stipulation of no run-off).

    The owner of this property, Mr. Wages, has given Post 2 candidate, Todd Burkhalter, a campaign contribution of $750.

    This is a commercial C-1 property being turned into residential use.  The Mayor and city council say we are deficient in commercial and that we need to protect our commercial space for the revenue it provides.

    Traffic is the number 1 issue in Johns Creek. Yet here we are adding another high-density project that will make traffic worse without a solution to our current traffic issues. The number of daily trips to be added on Bell Road is likely to be more than 10% of the current traffic load, which is a significant increase.

    Traffic on 141 North and South will need to be stopped longer to allow for this additional traffic load.

    The stretch of 141 from Skyway Drive to Johns Creek Parkway is Ground Zero for High-Density Housing in Johns Creek.
    If this Behemoth Apartment Complex on 141 is approved, it will make the densest area just even denser.
    Source: City of Johns Creek


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    EJ Moosa

    The biggest unmentioned issue is the enforcement of the 55 and older requirement. This would be left to code enforcement in Johns Creek to enforce.

    Should it be the job of local government to knock on doors and verify ages? Will local government act to remove a tenant who has someone under 55 living there?

    How much will it cost the city if the tenant fights it as an unreasonable rule that breaks up a family?

    How does Johns Creek pursue that case when at the same time they state that we are indeed seeing an increase of multi-generational households.

    Frankly, it seems that this is just another way to get an apartment complex into Johns Creek without saying the word apartment.

    It looks like an apartment complex. Has tenants that lease like an apartment complex. It adds a higher density of residents like an apartment complex.

    The term "active senior" needs to be more clearly defined.

    Oh yes, and then there's the traffic. but we know that never stops a project from going forward here in the Creek.

    We will get to that later.


    I believe people should be able to build what they want on their property assuming it does not present a harm to the community (e.g. sewage plant, gun range, etc). What you are denouncing in the article is housing which is ridiculous in my opinion. Why should you be able to live in your home and deny others the same right/opportunity?


    Ditto on EJ Moosa's comments. In addition I must ask, is this something JC Mayor and council are trying to get through before the newly elected council members can have input/votes? This cannot be allowed to happen. It just cannot. How can we stop this???

    We do not need anymore apartments in JC. The "multi-generational households" often include Mom & Dad, exempt from paying taxes, along with their adult children and their children. It's the only way many of the apt dwellers (who do not pay taxes) can afford to live in JC. I will be so relieved when this arrogant ass careless self-righteous Mayor is no longer in office. He has got to go!!!!

    EJ Moosa

    Harold's a bit misguided. There are rules and regulations that apply to my home even though I own it. I cannot add a third story(zoning regulations). I cannot add a pool without permission (zoning regulations). I cannot subdivide my home and make it a duplex (zoning regulations).

    All properties in this day and age are encumbered as to what you can do with that property. It's called zoning.

    This developer is asking the city of Johns Creek to change the zoning laws for this specific property so that they can have what they want. The developer does not have those rights today.

    So you see, they are not the same rights. They will be new rights granted to them by the City Council.


    Harold, It is you that is coming off as ridiculous. You must not live in or around Bell Road, and perhaps are one of the "multi generation households"...

    It's a disaster with all the traffic now in that particular area. The city snuck in 600+ development on Bell Road, which is going to be adding approx 1000+ cars to that road and the surrounding intersections in and around that area. Add another high density development (which we do not need. There are vacant apartments all around JC) to that intersection and it will become more of a quagmire than it already is.


    I would say drive through those areas during commute hours and then add over a thousand cars to the mix I happen to use all roads around that area daily, around 9-10AM. It often takes me 20 minutes to move 5 miles.


    @Harold - this is a rezoning issue of a commercial area into a zoning variance dependent and required residential property. A gun range is not a harm to the community, it is just another tax paying business. Remember that part where you said we should be able to build what we want to build on our own property? The extra traffic this housing project will generate is a far greater harm to the community. There are plenty of places to live in Johns Creek, if you don't like the options Johns Creek has to offer please look some place else. We don't need another apartment complex and certainly not anymore traffic from another ill planned project like this one.


    People who live in apartments pay rent and the apartment complexes pay taxes. Living in an apartment does mean that you are not contributing to the city's tax revenue.

    However, I do believe that high-density apartments are certainly not desirable unless some of that land could be used to widen the mouth of Bell Road so that a least two lanes of traffic can turn left to head south on 141 and the lane to turn right can easily be better accessed as it is often currently blocked by those trying to head south. Additional lanes would be an added bonus in that space.

    At least one pro to 55+ would be less strain on our schools.

    EJ Moosa

    Yes Anonymous they do pay rent and the complex does pay taxes.

    They pay about 1/4 or less of the school, county and city taxes that you do if you reside in the average house in Johns Creek.

    Pretty sweet deal when you think about it. Best Schools. Best City in the State.

    And for less than 25% of what those suckers owning homes are paying.

    Now if you do the math, and you assume that an apartment has just one student in public school (which costs upward of 9k per student per year), the homeowners are subsidizing the apartment dwellers far too much.

    Pull out your tax bill, and look at what you pay to Fulton County Schools. Now divide that by four.

    As I said a pretty sweet deal.


    Anonymous, A 55+ community is only less strain on the schools if it isn't a multi-generational household that is slipping by under a technicality. But, it still does not fix the traffic problem. As pointed out earlier, who enforces that age requirement? Traffic, not increased housing, needs to be the number 1 priority of the council. Until they figure that out, the rest of us are going to suffer.

    Steve A

    Most of you who oppose this are blind dummies. Look at the compelling reasons from the JC Admin perspectve. Until you wake up and address them at the appropriate level, you're wasting your time, because this has already been tacitly approved. All this listening to the community bs is a formality to make it appear as if JC did their fair due diligence.

    Here's the decision process from their perspective:

    1. More tax (property tax) revenue
    2. More other revenue (for inspectors, licenses, approvals, etc.)
    3. More commercial revenue (for construction, public services, utility, etc)
    4. No costs (ie no infrastructure or roads to build; no new administrative work - citizens whining about traffic don't count)
    5. No liability
    6. No brainer



    @Steve A. Are you alluding that this rezoning is a backdoor deal / arrangement?

    Pissed Off Resident

    @Steve- You must be a city employee, inspector, developer, or someone else that benefits from screwing the residents of JC. Enjoy your Kool-Ade. You are the blind dummy. No brainer!

    Get a Grip

    The Love Shack also generated tax revenue.

    Johns Creek shut it down.


    Hey Steve what planet do you live on ? The traffic is bad enough and you propose to add thousand of more driver on roads that are too small to accommodate, Then what our taxes will go up and traffic will suck !!!!!


    If this is to be a senior living community they it should be restricted to 65+ year olds!!! 55 is not a senior. Some of the recently elected Council members campaigned against an increase in high density housing and adding to the high traffic. Let's see if they stick to their campaign speeches or if that was just rhetoric to get elected!

    Craig W

    Sounds like 1st world problems to me.

    Get a Grip

    You live in the 1st world right? Those are the problems for us to solve.


    Is it just me or do these look like the UDA drawings for the District?


    Or this could be a red herring. Propose something outrageous that rally's the community against it. Then come back and say, well we originally proposed a funeral home (and crematorium). That would have less traffic, so the community would be appeased.


    I believe the Funeral Home was canned because residents in the nearby subdivision claimed having dead bodies in close proximity to their homes was against there religion. I don't know all of the specifics, but this was the influencing factor.
    It is against my religion to have dead bodies near me as well, especially my own! Driving in JC is like getting through a mine field.The every growing traffic congestion in and around JC is making people mean/aggressive/dangerous and rude. (including me at times.). I now deal with high blood pressure nearly every day. Getting tail gated, flipped off, and while trying to avoid the cars that run the intersections due to congestion and poorly time traffic signals is wearing me down.


    Not sure if the new council will have a vote in this rezoning case.
    I sure hope so! We can then see if they actually do what they promised while campaigning. Bodker is accustomed to surrounding himself with "yes" men. Hopefully those days are over!!!


    Be aware people. This complex, along with other "senior" complexes falls in line with the Obama Administration edict of "affordable" housing. Not enough seniors to fill the complexes? Then fill the complexes based on the "income based" criteria.

    I know this because my elderly mother has been looking to sell her house and move into one of these new "senior" apartment complexes in Johns Creek.

    She's been told she has to have a maximum income of X and a minimum income of Y to qualify.

    She has not much income now due to the economy, but maximum assets. She would not qualify to move into any of the "senior" apartment complexes popping up.


    Oh please.let's not blame President Obama for John Creek city council's decisions. The council is supposed to represent the residents' wishes.

    John Bradberry

    JCLady - Under what program was the income criteria used to qualify applicants for that senior apartment complex?


    Yes they are to represent the resident's wishes. But they must also comply with Federal, and then State laws.

    Unfortunately, all of those Federal dollars we take for projects come with strings. And not all of those strings are fully traced before taking the money to see what it will mean.

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