TUCKER, Ga. - After more than a four-hour special called meeting Wednesday, the Tucker city council voted 5-2 against an 88 acre mixed use development project called "The Rise."
The project has been going through the approval process for more than a year. Mayor Frank Auman and Council member William Rosenfeld voted in favor, but it was not enough to get the project passed.
“Council wants more time to sort out our vision and exactly what kind of things they want to see there and I am good with that,” said Tucker Mayor Frank Auman.
Mayor Auman said the mix-used development project proposal was made to DeKalb County before Tucker became a city, so city officials picked it up mid-stream as soon as they were elected to office.
“We were faced with a proposal that came to us before we ever gave any real thought and study to what we’d like to see go there and we had to deal with that proposal, it had a lot of appeal, it had some big concerns, now we can give it a little more thought,” said Mayor Auman.
The plan proposed by Macauley Investments consisted of retail space, office space, apartments, a senior living center and new elementary school and daycare located off Hugh Howell Road and Mountain Industrial Boulevard.
“That industrial zone means work and once you give it up it's almost impossible to imagine re-zoning the other way,” said Mayor Auman. “They were very concerned and I am to a certain degree that we give that up, we do not get it back and not only that, once it is changed to a different kind of use the people on the property next door look over and say it would be pretty cool if we could have more of the same and then you have this domino effect.”
It was a packed house at Wednesday evenings meeting with both supports and those against the project.
Supporters said they want to see Tucker grow and believe this project would do that, adding that they feel the developer addressed concerns the residents had.
Those against expressed concerns about traffic, parking, green space and fear that if this project were built, there would be no interest in Downtown Tucker on Main Street.
Under current zoning, the developer would be able to move forward with restaurants, office and retail space, but not a residential area or a grocery store. Mayor Auman said the developer would have to analyze the business aspects of it and figure out if it would work in that property.