Buford-based builder Cameron Henderson could hardly believe it when no one got up at a Gainesville City Council meeting Tuesday to speak out against a project to build 65 townhomes on South Enota Drive in Gainesville.
Henderson expected to see the same kind of pushback against the development as he witnessed at last month’s Planning and Appeals Board meeting when a group of homeowners expressed concerns about the project.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Henderson said, after the Gainesville City Council unanimously approved a rezoning application that paves the way for construction to begin.
Henderson, president and owner of JH Homes in Buford, said he hopes to start construction on the three-bedroom, two-bath townhomes within 90 days.
“I’d like to get product available in the spring,” he said.
Chris Hill, a local real estate agent who will be marketing and selling the townhomes, said he hopes to show a model home in the spring to prospective buyers. He said all two-story units will have a two-car garage and be priced in the $220,000 price range.
“I think it’s going to be great,” Hill said. “I think it’s going to attract first-time homebuyers and people who want to scale down from a big house.”
Hill said quite a bit of research went into pricing the new homes.
“We understand that there’s a gap for the first-time homebuyers,” Hill said. “A lot of first-time homebuyers are getting priced out because the market has been improving.”
Homeowners from the nearby Woodlands on Lake Brenau subdivision expressed concerns that the development would drive out a variety of wildlife attracted by nearby wetlands. They also feared the townhomes would eventually be rented out, bring crime to the area and diminish home values.
City officials attached eight conditions as part of the approval to address homeowners’ concerns. One of the provisions limits the development to no more than 65 townhomes and clearly state that apartments are not an approved use for the property.