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Proposed Bibb senior facility receives zoning approval

A zoning application for a mixed-use senior retirement center on Masseyville Road was approved Monday after a final site plan was submitted.

The decision on a conditional-use permit for about 12 acres at 2730 Masseyville Road had been deferred twice by the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission. The commission had suggested some design changes and requested more information about the project, which it received during Monday’s meeting.

The senior retirement center, called Charlotte’s Beach, calls for 187 units in multi-family buildings and 30 individual lakeside cottages. 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 Monday the entry was redesigned with a see-through gate. The development also will be “heavily landscaped,” he said.

Pamela Young, the project manager, said the first floor of the large buildings would have slate on the exterior.

No one spoke in opposition of the project at Monday’s meeting.

Walter Massey, who owns property on Masseyville Road, said, “I’m very much in favor of what they are doing now. ... I hope this is going to be the crown jewel of Masseyville Road and possibly the city of Macon. It looks like it can be.”

Just before the item received unanimous approval, Commissioner Jacqueline Hightower said, “I truly appreciate the work you have done with neighbors, and I look forward to seeing this rise.”

In another matter, an application for a proposed church at 222-230 Mercer Junction was deferred until the March 8 meeting.

Mission of Swaminarayan Gurukul Inc. applied for a conditional-use permit to build an 8,400-square-foot building, including a 6,400-square-foot meeting area/sanctuary with seating for 150 people, a kitchen and a 2,000-square-foot parsonage.

Developer Sammy Garrison said he spent about $10 million developing the area as commercial property and that covenants are on the property that wouldn’t allow the church.

Even though the commission does not enforce covenants, Commissioner Sarah Gerwig-Moore said, “this is additional information we should consider.”

Also Gerwig-Moore said she was concerned about putting a church on the property because it would prohibit places that sell alcohol, such as convenience stores and liquor stores, from locating on nearby commercial property.

The applicant’s representative, Louis Avery with Applied Technology Consultants Inc., said his clients were buying the property from Atlantic Southern Bank through a foreclosure deal, and they were unaware of the covenants. The sale would not go forward if the covenants are enforceable, Avery said.

Other items on the agenda were:

VARIANCES:

2395 Ingleside Ave.: Variance in setback requirements to allow a fence, C-1 District. Trevor Dickson, Tina Dickson, applicant. Approved.

SIGNS:

4760 Forsyth Road: Variance in aggregate sign area requirements, R-1AAA District. Wesleyan College, Bob Brown, BTBB Inc., applicant. Approved.

VIOLATIONS:

305 Buford Place: In violation of Section 27.05 and Section 27A.07 of the Comprehensive Land Development Resolution (accessory building/storage shed erected without a Zoning Compliance or a Certificate of Appropriateness), HR-1 District. Chip Greene. Deferred until March 8.

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

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