Business

Sign ordinance change denied

A change in the Macon-Bibb County sign ordinance was denied by the zoning commission Monday, and the applicant said it may threaten the success of landing a large anchor retailer to an upscale shopping center in north Bibb County. An amendment to the comprehensive land development resolution was proposed to allow a billboard to be 100 feet high when located within 1,000 feet of an interstate. Also, a conditional-use permit was filed to allow such a sign at 130 Starcadia Circle. Current regulations allow billboards to be a maximum of 70 feet high. The applications were presented by Macon attorney Wayne Crowley, representing Fickling & Co., which is developing Lullwater Village on Bass Road at Starcadia Circle near Interstate 75. "The shopping center is not adjacent to the interstate, but (the sign) needs to be visible from the interstate," said Crowley, adding that the sign would not be a typical billboard, as it would not be for rent. "It's what I call a shopping center identification sign." Also, he argued that the higher sign would be above treetops, and trees wouldn't have to be cut down to see the sign. Arthur Brook, a former zoning commissioner, opposed the sign because of safety and streetscape issues. "More and higher signage is dangerous," Brook said. Also, he said, commissioners shouldn't change the ordinance for one situation. Bobby Cleveland, vice president of commercial development for Fickling & Co., said the sign is important to a major tenant looking to move to the shopping center, but he declined to name the tenant. "This will be an upscale, high-end shopping center, with nice restaurants and nice shops," Cleveland said. But some commissioners said the higher sign wasn't appropriate. "I'm a tree lover and I like looking at trees," Commissioner Jacqueline Hightower said. "I use (a global positioning system) and don't look at signs. The view of Macon is still so precious to me." All commissioners present voted to deny the change in the ordinance; therefore the conditional-use permit was withdrawn. Commissioner Jimmy Patton was absent. In another matter, an application to rezone 3607 Hartley Bridge Road from a single-family district to a commercial district to allow a convenience store with fuel sales was deferred to the Aug. 25 meeting. Tony Widner, owner of Widner & Associates Inc. and representing owner Veraima Inc., asked for the deferral, saying more time was needed to meet with neighbors who are concerned about the proposed rezoning. Other items on the agenda were:

REZONINGS: 5600 Arkwright Road: Proposal to rezone from A-Agricultural District to R-3, Multi-Family Residential District. The purpose of this rezoning is to allow expansion of an existing multi-family complex (Adrian on Riverside). Moore & Murphey; Carter & Sloope, applicant. Approved.

MANUFACTURED HOMES: 4365 Fulton Mill Road: Conditional use to allow a manufactured home as a second dwelling with variance in lot width requirements, A-Agricultural District. Sandra Land, applicant. Approved. 6907 Chant Road: Conditional use to allow a manufactured home, A-Agricultural District. Barbara Dumas, applicant. Approved.

CONDITIONAL USES: 5600 Arkwright Road: Conditional use to allow expansion of an existing multi-family complex (Adrian on Riverside), A-Agricultural District (R-3 Pending). Moore & Murphey; Carter & Sloope, applicant. Approved. 176 Holts Lane: Conditional use to allow subdivision of property with variance to allow off-site parking, HPD District. Todd Bragg; Capmark Finance, applicant. Approved. 841 Anthony Road: Conditional use to allow a community center and professional offices in an existing structure and construction of a building addition, R-3 District. Macon Housing Authority; Robert Brown, applicant. 3670 Eisenhower Parkway: Conditional use to allow a banquet facility within an existing shopping center, C-2 District. Shontae Hollingshed, applicant. Approved. 3638 Vineville Ave.: Conditional use to allow an adult day-care center, R-2 District. Pamela Roshell, applicant. Approved. 6291 Rogers Road: Conditional use to allow a day-care center within an existing church, A-Agricultural District. Rose of Sharon Church; Peter Paul, applicant. Approved. 5297 Bloomfield Road: Conditional use to allow a day-care center, R-1A District. Amelia Bond, applicant. Approved. 4930 Bloomfield Road: Conditional use to allow a fuel center addition to an existing shopping center, PDE District. Widner & Associates; Veraima Inc., applicant. Approved. 2270 Shurling Drive: Conditional use to allow a day-care center, R-1A District. Connection Fellowship Academy, applicant. Approved. 3250 Waterville Road: Conditional use to allow surface mining, A-Agricultural District. Cherokee Brick & Tile, applicant. Approved.

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS: 176 Holts Lane: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow subdivision of property, HPD District. Todd Bragg; Capmark Finance, applicant. Approved. 309 College St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow exterior modifications to an existing building, HR-3 District. Telley Rustin; Julie Groce, applicant. Approved. 194 Spring St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of exterior modifications to an existing building, CBD-2 District. Narendar Dalal, applicant. Approved. 412 Third St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of exterior modifications to an existing building, CBD-1 District. On Time Fashions; Sami Fadoul, applicant. Approved.

VARIANCES: 203 N. Wesleyan Circle: Variance in setback requirements to allow a building addition to an existing dwelling and variance in setback requirements to allow a fence, R-1A District. Elizabeth Ndubuisi, applicant. Approved. 5762 McKinley Drive: Variance in placement requirements to allow a detached accessory building to be located between the building line of the main dwelling and the right of way line. A-Agricultural District. Charlie Bloodworth, applicant. Approved. 218/216 Island Trace: Variance to allow a detached accessory building to be located between the building line of the main dwelling and the right of way line, R-1AAA District. Don Gannarelli, applicant. Approved.

VIOLATIONS: 165 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd.: In violation of Section 25.14 [2] (b) (i), (ii) and Section 25.14 (c) of the Comprehensive Land Development Resolution (illegal display of banners). Macon Diner; Jimmy Tsclious. Withdrawn by staff.

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