Even though a zoning decision was delayed Monday regarding plans for a senior retirement community in east Bibb County, the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission discussed several aspects of the project.
A conditional-use permit is being sought for close to 12 acres at 2730 Masseyville Road near Lakeshore Drive to allow a mixed-use senior retirement community, called Charlotte’s Beach, with variances in the distance between the structures and in parking requirements. The property was rezoned in June from a multi-family residential district to a planned development extraordinary district.
Described as a “golf-cart” retirement community, it would have 187 units in three multi-family buildings and 30 individual lakeside cottages, according to the commission’s staff reports. The property, which would be gated, includes a 7-acre lake. Rental prices are expected to range from $450 to $650 per unit.
Cleve Cunningham, owner of Macon-based engineering firm Cunningham & Co. and representing the developer, said after a survey was done of the property the architectural design elevations were different than originally expected and he ran out of time before Monday’s meeting to provide a new elevation plan. Therefore, the commission deferred a decision on the permit until the Feb. 8 meeting.
Commissioner Damon King said the appearance of the small cottages, with about 600 square feet, look like mobile homes. Pam Young, the development’s project coordinator, said they would not be manufactured homes but would be built on site.
“We have gone with a theme of a Miami Beach theme,” Young said. “(The developer) is trying to provide something interesting and different for seniors in a low-income situation. ... We wanted something that we could afford to build that is beautiful and is still cost-effective.”
Commissioners Jacqueline Hightower and Kamal Azar also questioned the appearance of the multi-family buildings.
“It looks like a hospital to me,” Hightower said. “I would like to see something that doesn’t look like a hospital.”
Commissioner Sarah Gerwig-Moore agreed.
“It’s a very stark design,” Gerwig-Moore said. “It looks industrial.”
Young said it was difficult to make a large building not look industrial, but that she would be willing to suggest changes.
Cunningham pointed out that an apartment complex was nearby that had large buildings, but that his client “is respectful of everyone’s opinion” and wanted to do something that would blend into the community.
Cunningham agreed he would meet with the commission’s staff before the February meeting, and the design of the units would be addressed.
Other items on the agenda were:
@BR Box Type bold lede colon:990 Shurling Drive: Conditional use to allow a shopping center and convenience store with variance in side yard setback requirements, C-1 District. Widner & Associates, applicant. Approved.
2416 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow a professional office (palm reading) in an existing building, R-3 District. April Cooper, applicant. Deferred to Jan. 25 meeting.
4060 Napier Ave.: Conditional use to allow an increase in the number of children at an existing day-care center, R-3 District. Charlotte Perkins, applicant. Approved.
125 Macon West Drive: Conditional use to allow a distribution warehouse with outside storage, PDE District. Tim Thornton, Thornton Realty, applicant. Approved.
1415 Bass Road: Conditional use to allow lighting of parking lot at an existing church, PDE District. Mabel White Memorial Baptist Church, applicant. Approved.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:
@BR Box Type bold lede colon:538 High Place/830 Poplar St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow removal of a tree, HR-3 District. St. Joseph Catholic Church, applicant. Approved.
1036 Hillyer Ave.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of exterior modifications, HR-2 District. John Goodrich, applicant. Approved.
@BR Box Type bold lede colon:2905 Richard Drive: Variance in front yard setback requirements to allow a carport addition, R-1A District. Samuel Jones, applicant. Approved.
619 Rosa Taylor Drive: Variance in placement requirements to allow an accessory building, R-1AAA District. Denny Wright, Leigh Wright, applicant. Approved.
@BR Box Type bold lede colon:2416 Riverside Drive: Variance in sign area requirements to allow a freestanding sign, R-3 District. April Cooper, applicant. Deferred to Jan. 25 meeting.
3010 Riverside Drive: Variance in sign area requirements, C-4 District. Cross Connection Church, Aaron Burgess, applicant. Approved.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.