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Wimbish Road rezoning denied for office

The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission turned down a zoning request Monday that would have allowed a house on Wimbish Road to be used as an office.

The proposal was to rezone 590 Wimbish Road from a single-family residential district to a multi-family residential district. However, at the meeting the zoning request was altered to reflect a different level of residential zoning that still would have allowed the office.

Even though the area is mostly residential, Wayne Crowley, attorney for the applicant, pointed out that a church is across Wimbish Road and a day care and condos are nearby.

Also, real estate agent Sharon Falls said even though the two-bedroom, one-bath house had been rented in the past, “it would not be suitable for a typical family.”

Around Town magazine planned to buy the building for its offices, employ about four people and not many customers were expected come to the office, Crowley said.

“We totally believe there is no adverse effect on neighbors,” he said.

But several residents from the area disagreed with his assessment. Some said if the property was rezoned, it would have a domino-effect and other homes would turn into offices.

“It’s nice to have a residential area that stays a residential area,” Andy Weaver said.

“If you rezone this, it will be like Forest Hill Road: all beat up ... and a lot more traffic,” said Roy Shults who said he has lived on nearby Old Lundy Road more than 30 years. “I talked to real estate agents if there was a need for office space, and they said there is a glut.”

Before the board voted down the rezoning, commissioner Jacqueline Hightower said she had not been convinced that the property couldn’t continue to be used as a residential property, even if it’s leased.

Other items on the agenda were:

ITEMS DEFERRED FROM PRIOR MEETINGS:

744 College St.: Conditional use to allow a proposed middle-school building at an existing school, HR-3 District. Azar-Walsh, architects, applicant. Approved.

744 College St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of a proposed middle-school building at an existing school, HR-3 District. Azar-Walsh, architects, applicant. Approved.

5021 Mercer University Drive: Variance in height requirements to allow a sign, PDC District. Notnorth LLP, applicant. Approved.

CONDITIONAL USES:

5511 Zebulon Road and 180 Marjane Drive: Conditional use to allow a private school (home school) in an existing structure, R-AAA District. Peggy Waddleton, applicant. Denied.

476 Third St.: Conditional use to allow multi-family/retail in an existing structure, CBD-1 District. Dunwody/Beeland Architects Inc, applicant. Approved.

4901 Harrison Road: Conditional use to allow an expansion of an existing assisted living facility, C-4 District. Laurie Kuckkuck, applicant. Approved.

VARIANCES:

201 Abington Court: Variance in front yard setback requirements to allow a single-family attached dwelling, PDR District. Tom Ward Homes, applicant. Approved.

203 Abington Court: Variance in front yard setback requirements to allow a single-family attached dwelling, PDR District. Tom Ward Homes, applicant. Approved.

4505 Broadway: Variance in setback to allow a proposed gasoline island canopy, M-1 District. Richard Stiles, Osan Petroleum, applicant. Approved.

VIOLATIONS:

1328 Williamson Road: In violation of placement requirements and setback requirements by erecting an accessory building in the front yard that does not meet the minimum setbacks from a main structure (Section 4.07 [1] (a) (iii)/Section 9.06 [2] (a)/ Section 27.05), R-1A District. Freddie Bass. Deferred to March 23 meeting.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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