Plan for bowling center in north Bibb gets zoning approval

Developers of a proposed bowling center in north Bibb County received zoning approval to move forward.

The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission approved Monday a conditional-use permit that would allow revisions to the site plan for 6380 Zebulon Road and allow a bowling center with a lounge.

The site where the bowling center would be built is behind Zaxby’s and CVS across the entrance to the Lake Wildwood subdivision.

Gold Cup Bowling Center Inc., which has other bowling facilities on Pio Nono Avenue in Macon and on Russell Parkway in Warner Robins, plans to build a 32-lane bowling center on the 3.57-acre Zebulon Road site.

Gold Cup general manager Tom Shimek said after the meeting that he doesn’t know when construction will begin because zoning approval was the first of many steps.

“We would like to be open in a year,” Shimek said adding that he plans to keep the other bowling centers open.

“We just think that’s the place to expand,” he said. The location is expected to attract “more upscale clientele,” he said.

The application first came up at the commission’s July 26 meeting but the matter was deferred after David Hunter, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, 6611 Zebulon Road, and Peter Bagley, vice president of operations and a resident caretaker at Hephzibah Children’s Home, 6601 Zebulon Road, spoke in opposition to alcohol being served at the facility. The deferral was granted to allow time for the developer to address those concerns.

No one signed up at Monday’s meeting to speak against the project.

At Monday’s meeting, C.K. Chitty, CEO of Hephzibah said his organization “is not now nor has it ever been opposed to the development of that property. We are not now nor have we ever been opposed to the bowling center. Our only concerns were related to the lounge component” and how that affects Hephzibah’s children and families.

But even though the developers did not make any changes to the first proposal, Chitty said Hephzibah no longer objected.

“The reservations and concerns we had have been addressed to our satisfaction; therefore, we are present to speak in favor of the proposal,” he said. “We no longer have security concerns.”

Shimek said Gold Cup works to keep the facilities safe for customers. On weekends, it employs off-duty officers from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at the Pio Nono center and from the Warner Robins Police Department for the Warner Robins center.

At Monday’s meeting, several people signed up to speak in favor of the project.

Howard Johnson, who lives in Lake Wildwood, talked about the increase in tax revenue the center would bring, and that it might draw other businesses to nearby vacant strip centers.

Dianna Glymph, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia, said her group has worked with bowling centers for years and many of the children go to them to celebrate birthdays.

“It has been a clean and well-run facility ... and (has) had no problem with alcohol being served,” Glymph said.

“We are very excited about the center going (on Zebulon Road). ... Big Brothers Big Sisters is very much in favor of the bowling center.”

Also at Monday’s meeting, the commission approved a conditional-use permit to allow a day care center in an existing building at Hephzibah Children’s Home.

Initial enrollment would be for 10 children with three employees, and once it’s in full operation care would be provided for 84 children with 15 employees, according to the staff report.

The application was approved with very little discussion.

Other items on the agenda were:


5233 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow a proposed office building, R-3 District. Hulsey McCormick & Wallace Inc., applicant. Approved.

5009 Harrison Road: Conditional use to allow used car sales, C-4 District. Goldstone Automotive, applicant. Approved.

745 Lackey Drive: Conditional use to allow automotive repair and detail service, C-2 District. Amarender Reddy, applicant. Approved.

3886 Mumford Road: Conditional use to allow an increase in capacity at an existing day care center, C-2 District. Victoria Howard, applicant. Approved.


305 Buford Place: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of an accessory building, HR-1 District. Charles Greene, applicant. Approved.

770 Walnut St. and 754 Walnut St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of a building addition, CBD-2 District. Russell Claxton; First Choice Primary Care, applicant. Approved.

598 D.T. Walton Senior Way: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of wall signage, CBD-1 District. Harold Crafter, applicant. Deferred.


118 Idle Hour Drive: Variance in side yard setback requirements to allow a garage addition, PDR District. Halliburton Construction Co., T.H. Halliburton, applicant. Approved.

8289 Hamlin St.: Variance in setback requirements and height requirements to allow a fence, A-Agricultural District. Robert Brickle, applicant. Approved with changes to height of fence in front yard.

506 Hawthorne St.: Variance in distance between structures to allow a proposed building, C-2 District. Michael Johnson, Fulton Baptist Church, applicant. Approved.


4921 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow a multiple message billboard, C-2 District. David Hollingsworth; Riverside Center LLC, applicant. Approved.

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