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Citizens oppose new zoning on 308-acre Four A owned property
4A property in Conyers IMG 9373
Property owned by Four A in Conyers, outlined in orange, just south of Interstate 20. Olde Town Conyers areas in pink.

Vocal opposition from homeowners who live near the proposed 308-acre mixed-use development site located between Iris Drive and Johnson Road convinced the Conyers/Rockdale Planning Commission to defer a vote Thursday on a zoning variance that would have allowed the development to move forward. 

Citizens came out en masse to encourage the commission not to vote in favor of the development until further information regarding the impact the massive Four A International live, work, play community will have on traffic and schools. The planning commission voted to defer a decision and asked that the developers plan a meeting to discuss the project with the public. 

“I need to be warm and fuzzy about it (making a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners), and right now, I don’t (feel that way),” Planning Commission Chairman Chuck Russell said following commentary from eight citizens who spoke in opposition of the project during a public hearing Thursday. “There is so much that these people don’t know about, and we really need to get the information out to these folks.”

After four years on the drawing board, the massive mixed-use, 308-acre development located just south of I-20 in the City of Conyers is seeking a zoning variance in order to break ground on the first of a proposed 1,400 residential units and 580,000 square feet of commercial space.

Four A International, LLC, which developed Corner Market and Village at Almand Creek Apartments, has been working with Conyers planning officials for several years. In order to break ground on the first phase, which is the northern-most  portion of the triangular tract situated between Iris Drive, Flat Shoals Road and Johnson Road, the necessary zoning change must be approved by the City Council. Though still scheduled to be discussed during the council’s May 15 meeting, the planning commission has deferred making a decision to recommend or deny the zoning change for 60 days and revisit the issue at commission’s July 11 meeting. 

Though the City of Conyers’ planning department recommended approval of the zoning variance, a zoning  analysis by the department stated potential adverse impacts the development could have on the community include:  property owners in the area can expect changes in traffic patterns, a significant increase in the volume of traffic, as well as a significant increase in property values, which could potentially result in some area residents being displaced. And those were chief among the concerns of the residents who spoke during the public hearing Thursday.

Some of the comments included:

"I really am kinds blown away by all this," 47-year Conyers resident Gina Holsinger told the planning commission. "It will be a traffic nightmare. And another concern is Corner Market is mostly empty. Build this big fancy place and it is going to sit empty. On a personal note, I live 1.5 miles from this property and feel like it is going to increase traffic on Smyrna Road. Big fancy buildings don't impress me."

"There is too much traffic on Johnson Road," Conyers Road resident Marilyn Underwood said.  "There are a lot more things in Rockdale County we need more than that (development)."

 "Sounds like a large project and I'm wondering how it effects our schools," Morning Dove Drive resident Ruby Henderson said. "What is it about this mixed business that they cannot do with the zoning the way it is? I don't want anyone building for 20 years on my street. Sounds like this is going to be a traffic nightmare."

Planning officials reminded the commission and the public that the property is currently zoned as General Business District, which would allow for commercial development, such as a mall, which was Four A's original intent in 1982 when the zoning was changed from residential to commercial. 

Instead, the company plans to develop a "livable community" with "lifelong communities principles". As announced during the public hearing, the concept of the mixed-use development is a "walkable, human-scaled community providing a healthy, activity-oriented, traffic calming lifestyle serving all age groups."

"Four A looks forward to sharing additional information as we seek to advance this development," David Roper, asset manager for Four A International, said Friday.

Four A is planning at least two open houses in the next few weeks to provide members of the community an opportunity to learn more about the development. Dates and times for the events will be posted at