by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers
October 16, 2008 Milton's director of Community Development, Alice Wakefield, said the city has been told by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods satisfied the requirements to lift a stop-work order issued in May for it's Braeburn development in Crabapple.The notification came in mid-September, she said. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, financial mitigation on the project could reach up to $200,000.The developer had been under fire since May 5 for a $1 million, 18-foot retaining wall built in the middle of an unnamed stream that empties into Chicken Creek running through the development.
The 61-acre site is planned for 94 residential properties and 33,000 square feet of retail."It was determined that the wall was not in violation," said Wakefield. Jennifer Small, a spokeswoman for the Corps, said the problem was in the process to erect the wall — Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods hadn't followed the proper one. In a compromise, the developer offered an alternative site analysis that the Corps deemed to have the "best environmental impact," which included the wall.Thus, a settlement agreement dated Aug. 25 allowed Wieland to impact 180 feet of the stream, said Small.Another wall built in a stream – outside state and federal concern but important to Milton — was granted a variance by the city's Board of Zoning Appeals in mid-May after members expressed concern that removing the structure would further damage the waterways.
As part of the variance allowing that wall to stand, it has to be faced with brick. In addition, John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods paid $15,000 in silt removal at Six Hills neighborhood's pond, which was affected by the construction."[To have the stop-work order lifted] Wieland was required to submit a revised plan that matched what was on site," Wakefield said. "In addition a new hydrology study, which included a water quality component outside of the pond, was approved by the Corps of Engineers and EPD and reviewed by Milton."
Kevin Chambers of the Georgia EPD said the exact details of the requirements will not be revealed until John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods and the EPD both sign the consent order between them."We are very happy to be moving ahead with Braeburn and look forward to building in the city of Milton," said Jennifer Nilsson, director of corporate marketing for John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. "We believe that Braeburn will be an exciting new destination with its mixture of great homes, club amenities and conveniently adjacent office and professional suites."