The city council Monday night approved four annexations totaling more than 50 acres. The majority of that acreage -- 45.92 acres -- was requested by Watkins Associated Developers Inc. and brings into the city limits the final pieces of the LakePoint Sports development. Included in those annexation requests by Watkins were just over 43 acres off Old Allatoona Road and almost three acres at 430 Joe Frank Harris Parkway.
With land acquisition closings expected next month, progress is out of the hands of city officials.
"This was a big, big step. I think this is a major milestone for us," Emerson Mayor Al Pallone said. "There are some things that still have to happen ... there's the House bills that need to be passed to help them with [LakePoint developer's] investment. This is a big investment for them. At this point, Emerson has done the major work we needed to do."
Situated on 1,380 acres between Interstate 75 and Highway 41, LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center will feature sports fields, entertainment facilities, retail shops, restaurants, hotels and educational campuses when complete.
The core of the development, which features three miles of frontage along I-75 including the Red Top Mountain and Emerson-Allatoona interchanges, is a 260-acre sports complex with 16 Major League Baseball-sized fields, 12 soccer and lacrosse fields and a 100,000-square-foot indoor sports facility.
Also annexed Monday was more than six acres by Danny and Carol M. Silvers on Sixth Street.
Emerson also approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would create an MU-2 Mixed Use - LakePoint district for the city.
The 17-page ordinance said, "The Mixed-Use - LakePoint (MU-2) zoning category is a site-specific zoning district which is established for the purpose of providing flexibility in developing a compatible mixture of commercial, employment, office, civic, industrial and/or cultural uses, centered around a sports complex."
The use limitations listed in the ordinance include "no heavy manufacturing processes or facilities" and requires all new developments to submit a site plan.
Likewise, the city OK'd changes to the zoning map to reflect the MU-2 zoning.
Councilman Ed Brush recused himself from voting on all items related to LakePoint, which included both annexations and the amendments to the zoning ordinance and map.
In other action, the council:
* Held first readings of three annexation and rezoning requests from Mary Martin Johnson and Thomas Johnson for roughly eight and a half acres on Old Alabama Road. The three requests -- for 161, 163 and 165 Old Alabama Road -- have all passed the planning and zoning commission.
* Held a first reading to amend the city of Emerson Code of Ordinances Chapter 8. Zoning Article I.
* Approved a resolution accepting a $12,500 grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to provide upgrades and mobile units in Emerson Police Department vehicles. The city is not required to match any of the funds.
* Approved a resolution authorizing the transfer of unimproved land to surrounding property owners. The roughly one acre piece of property is an alleyway between Eighth Street and Ohio Avenue and will be split between four owners.
* Announced the Great American Cleanup will take place in Emerson Saturday, April 16, at 8 a.m. at city hall. The rain date is Saturday, April 30.