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Macon-Bibb P&Z approves large mixed-use Mercer project

The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously agreed Monday to rezone nearly 8 acres for a multimillion dollar mixed-use development across from Mercer University’s stadium.

The property at 1496 Mercer University Drive, 1840 Canton St. and 1805-1875 Mercer Road was rezoned from a general commercial district to a planned development district. A conditional-use permit also was approved for this property. Property at 1594 and 1580 Mercer University Drive also was rezoned.

No one spoke in opposition to the project.

The development would include a four-story building for student housing with 96 units, a 94-room hotel, a retail area, offices and restaurants.

Mercer is spearheading the $40 million to $50 million project. The Macon-Bibb County Commission earlier agreed to provide the funds for a pedestrian bridge with public access across Mercer University Drive.

A portion of the development “will be much like Mercer Village” with raised walkways, so cars have to slow down, said Zan Thompson, owner of ZT3 Placemaker Studio. The hotel and restaurants will serve local residents and traffic from the interstate.

Sierra Development will begin construction in January, president Jim Daws said. He is obligated to turn over the lofts to Mercer University by summer 2016.

“It will be a gateway into Macon,” Thompson said.

Other items on the agenda were:

ITEMS DEFERRED FROM NOV. 24 MEETING:

1409 Tucker Road: Conditional use to allow a convenience store with fuel island, A-Agricultural District. Kunj Construction, applicant. Withdrawn.

CONDITIONAL USES:

1085 Georgia Ave.: Conditional use to allow guest quarters in an existing building (three rooms) HR-3 District. Donald Bivings, applicant. Approved.

5429 Bowman Road: Conditional use to revise a previously approved site plan and conditional use to allow final site plan approval of a mixed-use development (retail and residential), PDE District. Zan Thompson, ZT3 Placemaker Studio, applicant. Approved.

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:

656/698 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow partial demolition of a structure and exterior modifications, CBD-2 District. Derek Aynsley, Aderhold Properties Inc., applicant. Approved.

VARIANCES:

2882 Avondale Mill Road: Variance to allow platting of property not fronting a public right-of-way, A-Agricultural District. Glen Clary, Wayne Crowley, applicant. Approved.

822 Heatherbrooke Lane: Variance to encroach into a landscape buffer, PDE District. Matt Gilbert, Three Oaks Construction & Development, applicant. Withdrawn.

VIOLATIONS:

560 Moreland Ave.: In violation of Section 4.11 [1] (b) and Section 4.11 [2] (a) of the Comprehensive Land Development Resolution (distance of a fence from the public right-of-way and fence in excess of 4 feet in height in the front yard), R-1 District. Milton Woodford. Owner was found in violation. One section of the fence must be removed near the road, and the entire fence must be lowered.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

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