Development plans for a 16.87-acre strip of land off Augusta West Parkway have incited outrage among nearby homeowner associations, who say they fear crime and congestion associated with a proposed apartment complex.
Homeowner associations representing Hillcreek, The Meadows at Hillcreek, Nevis Townhomes and The Professional Offices at Hillcreek are “adamantly opposed” to construction of the 252-unit complex at 1213 Augusta West Parkway, according to a packet of materials provided Augusta commissioners.
“We have a lot of older people in the neighborhood,” said Harry McGahee of the Hillcreek homeowner association. Those elderly homeowners fear burglaries and increased traffic.
“It’s supposed to be an upscale apartment complex, but after seven or eight years, it doesn’t become upscale anymore,” he said. “It just goes to the dogs.”
The area has grown increasingly congested since McGahee purchased a Hillcreek patio home a dozen years ago, and an incoming McDonald’s restaurant at the corner of Wheeler Road and Augusta West Parkway will only increase traffic, he said.
Wesley Taubel of TWO Capital Partners, which is seeking to develop the $22.5 million apartment complex on land owned by the Leonard P. Mays family, wrote the homeowner associations to say the proposed complex will draw renters with an annual income of $66,000 and won’t bring additional traffic or noise exceeding the neighborhood businesses most of the land is currently zoned for.
The neighborhood associations presented a petition containing more than 160 signatures protesting the complex at a recent meeting of the Augusta Planning Commission, which voted against the developer’s rezoning request. The denial goes before the Augusta Commission at a 5 p.m. meeting Tuesday.
“The original design of the area was for the development of an office park with which we would have no objection,” the petition said, while an apartment complex “would forever alter the character of our developments and adversely affect the ambience of our lives.”