News

Rezoning OK’d for former Bibb school; application for bikini bar deferred

The zoning commission approved Monday the rezoning permit for one vacant Bibb County school but deferred a decision on another closed school amid opposition to the uses planned.

An application was submitted to rezone the former Redding Elementary School property, 8062 Eisenhower Parkway, Lizella — from a residential district to a planned development extraordinary district to allow the mixed use development. The proposal also requires approval of conditional-use permits.

The original plans included a community center, a shopping mall with a convenience store and offices. All uses would be contained in the existing building.

At Monday’s meeting, Tony Widner, owner of Widner & Associates and representative of owner Ashok Patel, said they had changed the focus of the retrofit to more of a business center with low impact businesses, such as an insurance agency with a few retail spaces available. Also “a life center” would be for the owner’s Hindu group, which includes a few families.

“They wouldn’t have a regular service there — it would be for family-type functions, ceremonies,” Widner said. “It would not be open to the public.”

Bill Sanders, who lives in the neighborhood, said he represented several area residents who oppose the plans for the school. He said it was unclear exactly how the property would be used.

“Because of security and safety concerns we ask that you not approve this,” Sanders said.

Juanita Jordan, said her property abuts the school property.

“I am concerned about what will happen in the life center,” Jordan said. “We understand something needs to happen to the property, but we understand also it should be the proper use.”

Commissioners Jacqueline Hightower and Arthur Hubbard voted to approve the rezoning, with Commissioner Damon King voting against it. Because commissioners Kamel Azar and Sarah Gerwig-Moore were absent and the vote was split, the rezoning and conditional-use applications were automatically deferred to the next meeting July 27.

No one opposed the rezoning proposed for Weir Elementary School, 1180 Rocky Creek Road, from a two-family residential district to a multi-family residential district to allow an assisted-living facility.

The assisted living facility would have 24 beds and up to six employees. This school property also is owned by Patel.

The site would be divided into two lots, and a 3,000-square-foot convenience store would be built on one acre of the property. The commission agreed to rezone this lot from a two-family residential district to a general commercial district.

Both schools, which were sold at auction in April, have been closed to students at least five years.

Also Monday, zoning commissioners deferred an application that would allow a new bikini bar in south Macon. No one spoke in opposition to the bar.

The conditional-use application was for a nightclub with alcohol in an existing shopping center at 1508 Rocky Creek Road.

The nightclub, to be called Sinsations South, would go in a 5,400-square-foot space at South Macon Plaza. Plans include a 960-square-foot dance floor and 60 seats. It will feature “bikini dancers, belly dancers and pole dancers,” according to information provided to the commission office.

There would be no nudity at any time, the document stated.

This item also was deferred due to a split vote.

Another bikini bar, called Club Sinsations, opened at 2780 Riverside Drive in February 2007. Both clubs are owned by Ennis Odom.

Other items on the agenda were:

REZONINGS:

2661-2665 Allen Road: Proposal to rezone from A-Agricultural District to PDR, Planned Development Residential District. The purpose of this rezoning is to allow a single-family cluster development. David McCrory, applicant. Approved.

525 Williams St. East: Proposal to rezone from R-2, Two-Family Residential District to C-4, Highway Commercial District. The purpose of this rezoning is to reflect the zoning classification of the property prior to adoption of the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) zoning maps. Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission, applicant. Approved.

4391 Hartley Bridge Road: Proposal to rezone from A-Agricultural District to C-4, Highway Commercial District. The purpose of this rezoning is to allow commercial uses (retail, motel, restaurants). B.C. Puckett; Bridge Pointe LLC, applicant. Approved.

MANUFACTURED HOMES:

5929 Dove Drive: Conditional use to allow a manufactured home with variance in unit length requirements and variance in skirting material requirements, A-Agricultural District. Barbara Wilson, applicant. Approved.

CONDITIONAL USES:

6112 Houston Road: Conditional use to allow an antique shop in an existing building, R-3 District. Janice Simpson, applicant. Approved.

3457 Pio Nono Ave.: Conditional use to allow a salon (sauna and tanning beds) in an existing building, C-4 District. Harold Crenshaw, applicant. Approved.

230 Charter Lane: Conditional use to allow a day-care center in an existing building, R-3 District. Early Guidance Inc., applicant. Approved.

3010-3020 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow a place of worship in an existing building, C-4 District. Cross Connection Church; Aaron Burgess, applicant. Approved.

610 North Ave.: Conditional use to allow a building addition at an existing restaurant, C-4 District. Widner & Associates; El Sombrero, applicant. Denied.

870 Pio Nono Ave.: Conditional use to allow a place of worship in an existing shopping center, C-1 District. New Life International, applicant. Approved.

3768 Eisenhower Parkway: Conditional use to allow a private school (tutoring center), C-2 District. James Pritchard; Ombudsman Educational Services, applicant. Approved.

1200 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow a private school (tutoring center), C-2 District. James Pritchard; Ombudsman Educational Services, applicant. Approved.

925-935 Key St.: Conditional use to allow automobile repair (body work and painting) in an existing building, C-2 District. Burrell Smith, applicant. Approved.

2520 Jeffersonville Road: Conditional use to allow a group home, C-2 District. Youth Dynamics; Nathan Adams, applicant. Approved.

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:

167 Pierce Ave.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of a freestanding sign, HR-3 District. Randall Fennell, applicant. Approved.

122 Holt Ave.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow demolition of a structure, HC District. Tim Still; Walthall Oil Co., applicant. Approved.

484 Cherry St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of proposed signage, CBD-1 District. Cesare Mammarella, applicant. Approved.

2602-2603 Stanislaus Circle: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of exterior modifications (wall and landscaping), HR-1 District. PZDM, applicant. Approved.

854 Orange Terrace: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow an accessory building and design approval of exterior modifications (retaining wall, windows, landscaping, and driveway), HR-3 District. Berthenia Joy Moten-Thomas, applicant. Approved.

VARIANCES:

240 Second St. and 582 Walnut St.: Variance in setback requirements to allow a fence/wall on the right-of-way, CBD-1 District. Robert Brown; Brittain, Thompson, Bray & Brown, Inc., applicant. Approved.

8859 Lower Thomaston Road: Variance in placement requirements to allow a detached accessory building, A-Agricultural District. Ralph Harris, applicant. Approved.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report. To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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