By Michael J. Thompson

Since last October , Lyle Darnall has been looking forward to the news he finally received at the May 1 meeting of Neighborhood Planning Unit-C. In a 61-0 vote of approval for the rezoning of the proposed Moores Mill Shopping Center redevelopment project, the vice president of development at Edens&Avant finally saw his patience and perseverance pay off.

“We’ve waited a long time for this vote, gone through a number of hurdles and worked together with the residents of NPU-C to ensure that all their questions and concerns were addressed regarding this renovation,” Darnall said.

“This is really a great day and now we’ve got to move forward with the building of the facility,” he added.

With the approval of NPU-C, the planned 345-home residential and commercial redevelopment that will necessitate the razing of the current properties on Coronet Way and Marietta Blvd will move forward.

Darnall believes this will begin sometime early this summer.

“We have a few more hurdles yet to pass, including locking up the major anchor tenant for the commercial portion of the plan and redoing portions of the engineering plans to address changes in the blueprints,” he said.

The renovation can’t begin soon enough for NPU-C Chair Eric Ranney.

“The fine people at Edens&Avant have been gracious and patient throughout this arduous process and I think I speak for everyone in this room that we’re glad to finally be moving forward,” he said.

“I wish they could start working on the renovation tomorrow, as this is going to be an excellent growth opportunity for the community,” Ranney stated.

The property was rezoned from Community Business (C-1) to Commercial Residential- Conditional (C-3-C), and will feature a mix of affordable to moderately priced homes.

“We’ve been coming to these meetings since October and now we see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Darnall.

Sharon Gay, the lawyer representing Edens&Avant, said the contentious Perry-Bolton Tax Allocation District (TAD) was restructured by Fulton County Commissioners John Eaves and Robb Pitts, and that a comprise was reached over the affordable housing issue related to the Perry/Bolton TAD.

At issue was a requirement for a higher percentage of affordable housing for the Perry/Bolton TAD than is required for other TADs in the city of Atlanta.

“These men have made it possibly for us to finally move forward,” Gay said.

Both commissioners were in attendance and noted that the changes made will help facilitate the approval of the Moores Mill Project and rezoning.

The city initiated the 20 percent on the Eastside and Perry-Bolton TADs, whereas Fulton County countered by requesting a 40 percent affordable housing plan within the Perry-Bolton TAD. The maximum price of the homes will be set at $150,000, primarily designated for households whose combined income does not exceed $56,950.

Pointing out that Alpharetta recently passed a TAD that was approved with no percentage allocated for affordable housing , helped ensure that Eaves and Pitts could reach a compromise, Gay said.

On May 2, a meeting of the Fulton County Commissioners will be held that will finalize the compromise.

Also at the meeting Atlanta City Councilwoman Felicia Moore was honored for her hard work in TAD issues and for her exemplary service to NPU-C.