COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A group of residents is organizing resistance against a planned affordable housing apartment complex in Columbus.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the situation pitting an Atlanta-based developer against the residents is shaping up to be contentious.
TBG Residential proposes to construct a 94-unit complex on property that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, the newspaper reported.
Residents say they are concerned about increased traffic and other issues.
Three new housing developments are planned for the City of Seaside, presented at a public meeting Monday hosted by the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership. But some residents worry there aren’t enough affordable housing units being built in town.
"We’re not opposed to a development there. We’re opposed to this particular development because of density issues, the traffic issues and environmental concerns. That’s what I’m hearing from everybody," Tyler Pritchard, a resident of the area, said at a recent information session that he scheduled for neighbors.
"I, too, have concerns about home values and traffic and things of that nature considering I have a very, very small daughter that will soon be riding her bikes in the local neighborhood," said Teddy Reese, who lives nearby. "It’s really a concern that’s rooted in the fact that I’ve been living in this property a little over two years and no one came and talked to any of us in the neighborhood about a potential development. So it kind of seems like it’s a rush job."
Kevin Buckner, a principal with TBG Residential, has said he plans to submit an application for low-income housing tax credits through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs by May 24. His company expects to receive word in November on whether the tax credits, which would be used during the financing process, will be approved.
The developer initially raised the possibility of putting 84 senior housing units for residents age 55 and up, but that idea changed after the city declined during a recent Columbus Council meeting to assist with the funding mechanism, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. The firm then said it would build a 94-unit affordable housing apartment complex on the property at a cost of about $16 million.
"They have the right to voice their opinions," Buckner said of the residents. "They love that parcel of land. It’s been there for years and years. We have empathy for them."
"But once we’re built, once we’re leased up and once they see how quiet our properties are – whether it’s senior or family – they won’t know the difference," he added.
Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, http://ledger-enquirer.com