Macon’s zoning commission delayed Monday a decision on an application to demolish downtown’s historic Douglass House until its next meeting.
“We have an offer from Mercer (University) and would like at least two weeks to see if we can save the house,” said Jim Rollins, a commercial real estate broker representing applicant Lou Patel, owner of D&D Middle Georgia LLC.
The commission’s Design Review Board last week recommended to the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission that it deny the application to demolish the Douglass House at 873 Pine St.
Jim Thomas, the commission’s executive director, asked Rollins on Monday if he wanted more time since the next meeting is in two weeks. If he needs another deferral, Rollins said, he will ask for it then.
Rollins has said he and Patel don’t want the house torn down. But he said they were compelled to request the demolition after earlier arrangements to move the house -- made with state Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon; Mercer and Historic Macon -- did not move along as expected.
An attempt to reach Beverly after the meeting was unsuccessful.
The Douglass House was home to Charles Douglass, a successful black Macon businessman in the early 1900s who developed and managed the Douglass Theatre for nearly 30 years.
Several months ago, Patel bought the former Tremont Temple Baptist Church property next door to the Douglass House with plans to build a Dunkin’ Donuts. Patel received approval this year from the zoning commission to demolish the church, and it was razed in March.
Negotiations with The Medical Center of Central Georgia to purchase an alley next to the Tremont property failed and Patel said he did not have sufficient space for the doughnut shop and the required parking on the property.
Patel bought the Douglass House and agreed at Beverly’s request to donate it to Beverly’s Community Enhancement Authority, along with $20,000 to help move it.
The cost to move the house was higher than expected, and the moving process takes time and coordination to get it past electric wires and other infrastructure, Beverly has said.
Other items on Monday’s agenda were:
ITEMS DEFERRED FROM PRIOR MEETINGS:
840 High St.: Conditional use to allow a professional office (landscape architect) in an existing building, HR-3 District. Wimberly Treadwell, applicant. Approved.
2129 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow cargo/utility trailer sales at an existing business, C-4 District. Burt Dodson, applicant. Approved.
755 Third St.: Conditional use to allow auto repair (transmissions) in an existing building, CBD-2 District. Gary Keefe, AAMCO, applicant. Approved.
2255 Allen Road: Conditional use to allow retail sales (antique shop) in an existing building, M-1 District. Causey & Associates, applicant. Approved.
3518 Jeffersonville Road: Conditional use to allow a convenience store with fuel sales C-1 District. Donald Mann, Sutlej Investments LLC, applicant. Approved.
548, 552, 560 Cliett Drive: Conditional use to allow a timber harvest (clear cut), R-2 District. Waters & Sons Construction, applicant. Approved with a minimum 15-foot buffer.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:
1275 Linden Ave.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow exterior modifications, HR-3 District. Pat Wells, applicant. Approved.
ITEMS FOR COMMISSION RATIFICATION:
996 High St.: Variance in location/setback requirements to allow a fence, HR-3 District [14-20345]. Brian Johnson, Ashley Miller, applicant. Approved.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.