Last year, a nine-unit townhome project was proposed for the site, leading to pushback from neighbors. The project never made it out of the city’s planning commission and was indefinitely tabled. On Tuesday, residents made clear that they do not want “large” developments coming to that property, abutting their single-family homes.
While city leaders have not released any specific plans for the land once it is under city control, City Manager Andrea Arnold said it presents opportunities for greenspace preservation as well as affordable housing — a constant goal by city leadership.
Earlier Tuesday, the commission discussed ways to address “missing middle housing,” which are various housing types between single-family homes and apartment buildings. Duplexes and other middle housing types are not currently allowed in Decatur’s code, but Arnold said this property could be a test site for reintroducing those housing types.
Commissioner George Dusenbury added that the city’s purchasing offer is $50,000 less than the asking price by the property’s owner, which he said is rare in Decatur. He said now is the right time for the city to swoop in and scoop up the land.
“There has been a lot of uncertainty around this property for a while,” Commissioner George Dusenbury said. “We’ve seen some proposals out here in terms of development. We were patient, and we saw a good opportunity to step in and acquire the parcel to have control of what happens with it.”
Mayor Patti Garrett said city leaders will seek public input once the sale closes and city staff have time to develop preliminary plans for the land. The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of July.