Commercial rezoning hits a snag

Mon, 06/11/2007 - 8:38am
By: Ben Nelms

A proposal to develop a two-acre site in the Sycamore Grove commercial area on Tyrone-Palmetto Road ran into a zoning snag at the May 31 meeting of Tyrone Planning Commission. This time, the snag belongs to the town. And in the end the proposal was tabled until a legal decision can be obtained.

Portions of property on both sides of Tyrone-Palmetto Road between Ga. Highway 74 and the railroad tracks were zoned Limited Use Commercial (LUC) several years ago as part of a proposed master plan for the area. At that time, and still on the books today, is a five-acre minimum requirement for LUC zoning. That presented a problem since the Tyrone Crossing proposal includes only two acres.

Tyrone Crossing representative Tim Harper listened as commissioners heard comments from town consultant Jonathan Lewis on the non-conforming status of the site due to the LUC requirements and Lewis’ recommendation that the site be rezoned prior to project approval. Commissioners also heard from Town Manager Barry Amos, who explained that the LUC zoning occurred several years ago as a result of a lawsuit and the town council’s desire to protect the area from big-box general commercial zoning. Amos said the applicant needs the current LUC zoning for the development, but is currently prohibited from proceeding due to the LUC’s five-acre requirement.

“This is not something the applicant created, it is something the council created,” said Amos. “This may amount to a de facto variance and it would be proper (for the planning commission) to notify the council.”

The issue was discussed by commissioners, who attempted to find a resolution to the matter, deciding instead that the wiser course would be to table the request until a written opinion from town attorney Brad Sears could be obtained.

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