Photo by Corinne Nicholson
CONYERS -- The South Rockdale Civic Association plans to hold a public discussion Tuesday on public housing tied to proposed redevelopment of land along Interstate 20 in Conyers. SRCA President Don Meyer said he hopes the meeting will air public concerns on the projects to city and housing officials.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the SRCA's monthly meeting at the Union United Methodist Church, 4600 Ga. Highway 138. The public is invited to attend and admission is free.
At question are two projects within the city of Conyers. One is an effort by the Conyers Housing Authority to replace existing public housing off of Green Street and Dogwood Drive with a four-story building to be built on public housing property on Rockbridge Road.
The other project is by the city of Conyers to redevelop the CHA property on Dogwood Drive. That property is part of an overall plan to redevelop a 424-acre area south of Green Street at West Avenue, running past the post office to Old Covington Highway, that the city has been working on since 2008.
Both projects are on hold due to funding issues. The CHA missed out last year on a $500,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to build the multistory housing unit.
Meyer said he has no problem with the city's efforts to revitalize the area, but he has concerns for the proposal to build multistory public housing.
"It's a great idea and a wonderful project, much needed," he said. "I think this is the best project to come along for Conyers in the 30 years I've been here, but the end result will be improvement here (but with) the lack of improvement, the determent of improvement somewhere else for decades to come."
Meyer believes the county has not been brought into the process in building the four-story building being proposed to ensure there is enough sewer capacity available for the development, along with fire protection and other county-funded services.
"They are proposing to replace 23 units with one 200-unit building on 14 acres on Rockbridge and they're (going to build more) because you can't just build one of those on that much land," he said.
Meyer also have contended that the CHA proposal would increase public housing in Conyers, that would attract low-income residents.
"This should not be built for people from out of state who want to live in Georgia for free," Meyer said. "If it is built, it will be raising a flag for the old time residents, the people who built the community, to say 'Okay, I'm done. I'm getting out before my property value goes to zero.'"
CHA officials have said in the past there is a great need for new housing to replace existing units that are aging with increasing maintenance costs. The DCA grant would have been used for infrastructure for 50 units for senior housing units on Taylor Street and 77 apartments and townhouses on Rockbridge Road.
Conyers officials are continuing its efforts for redevelopment. Last month, the city received Opportunity Zone designation from the DCA for the tract of land along Dogwood Drive.
Under the designation, new businesses and businesses that add employees can take advantage of a tax credit.