Jason Wright, the city’s communications manager, said there are about 900 new residential units planned to be built in 2014. That is three times the housing compared to the 279 new residential units permitted earlier in 2013, said Kathy Field, community development director.
“We’re still getting a lot of inquiries for development,” she said.
Field said there has also been an increase in the amount of commercial building permits but to a much lesser extent than residential.
Local real estate agent Lara Dolan, of Keller Williams Realty, can attest to the construction boom.
“When you drive around the city of Milton, you are going to see more … newly built homes on the market or in the construction process,” she said.
In the third quarter of 2013, Dolan has seen single-family home sales — a mix of new construction and older homes — up nearly 15 percent in Milton, Alpharetta and Roswell west of Ga. 400, compared to last year.
Only a fraction of the residential building requests go before city council for approval. If the construction falls in line with Milton’s building codes and property owners are not seeking rezoning or land use variances, council does not have to vote on the development for the city to go forward.
Wright said of the nearly 900 newest units, fewer than 200 units are from rezoning cases.
In January, the city council will hear five rezoning cases for residential developments. Wright said while there are some residents who want certain pieces of land left undeveloped, property owners have the right to build on their land or sell it to a developer, if they choose.
“We, the staff, are looking at what we can do to help ameliorate this growth from a rezoning prospective,” Field said. “Can we make the zoning more stringent? For instance, require wider buffers at the roads so that you don’t necessarily easily see the houses [and] so that you protect the rural viewshed as you’re driving along.”
She added, “We’re in the process of reviewing what we can do with our legal department, and we are certainly poised to make some changes to our zoning ordinance, as appropriate.”
Any alterations to the city’s ordinances, as well as cases of rezoning or changes to land use, will include a public review process.