Hiawassee City Council hears proposal for townhomes

Community, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga – New townhomes project would require a change to existing the city ordinance for it to proceed.

Celtic Management presented the Mountain View Townhomes project during the March Hiawassee City Council work session.

Mountain View Townhomes would be built on two acres off Hwy. 76 across from the Taco Bell and next to Georgia Mountain Vision Center. The proposal included a total of 16 townhomes. 10 two-bedrooms at 1,960 square feet for $230,000 and up. 6 three-bedroom units at 2,300 square feet for $280,000 and up.

The issue with the ordinance arises with the number of units per acreage. Currently, Hiawassee permits four units per acre and Mountain View Townhomes asks for 16 units across two acres.

Mayor Liz Ordiales stressed that a potential ordinance change needed to be handled the right way and to “think about this a little more.”

Proposed Townhome plot.

She asked about putting together a subcommittee to address the existing ordinance, and the city attorney stated it depends on how extensive a change is necessary.

Some councilmembers were on board with changing the ordinance to provide more living areas downtown.

“I don’t have any problem with tweaking the ordinance,” Councilmember Anne Mitchell said. She advocated for more density in the downtown area.

Councilmember Amy Barrett agreed with her stating the city needs more population and families. She added that younger families and young people, in general, would be attracted to the proposed townhomes.

The units would be three stories with a garage on the first level, kitchen, dining, and living on the second, and bedrooms and bathroom on the third floor. The deck would be located on the front of the building to take advantage of the views.

An HOA would be instituted for maintenance at around $100 a month. Currently, community amenities aren’t planned but that could change later.

Celtic Management would complete the townhomes in phases, so once the first building went up for sale, the construction on the second one would start. The company’s not in favor of adding a low-cost housing option because of past experiences.

The company representative Aaron Lawson said they try to hire local labor first for construction projects, but with the current hot market, it’s likely some bigger subcontractors would be brought in.

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