County denies rezoning for Old Mill restaurant

Thu, 11/13/2008 - 9:30pm
By: John Munford

A rezoning petition to lift commercial rezoning restrictions from the former Old Mill Steakhouse site was denied unanimously by the Fayette County Commission tonight.

The owners had sought to remove the condition that limits the property to being used only for a restaurant. But the commission’s action left that restriction intact by voting down the rezoning request.

Kay Davis, one of the property owners, said in the current economy it is extremely difficult to operate a restaurant. Davis said her intent was to lease the facility, located directly off Ga. Highway 54 east of Sandy Creek Road, to be used as an antique shop.

Davis noted there was a lengthy list of uses that would be prohibited on the site under the recommendations from county staff and also the planning commission.

But several commissioners said they wanted to honor the original intent of the rezoning in 1983 and leave the property zoned as is. Prior to that rezoning the property was zoned for residential use.

A number of residents in the adjacent Crystal Lake subdivision spoke against the rezoning, saying they wanted to protect their quality of life and keep the building from being opened up for more retail uses.

The commission’s action also left intact a requirement that a lot adjacent to the mill tract, which is in the Crystal Lake Estates subdivision, be used only for a single family home.

Davis contended that lot, located at the subdivision entrance, is not separate but was combined with the mill parcel as part of a previous rezoning application for the site.

Davis said part of the reason the property is commercial in nature is because of the 30,000 cars that travel past the restaurant each day. She said she agreed with the suggested use restrictions proposed on the site by county staff and the planning commission.

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Submitted by Rachel99 on Sat, 11/15/2008 - 2:01pm.

Turtlejack you should be ashamed for the way that you spew blasphemous comments about us and the old mill. The Olde Mill Steakhouse folks were kicked out for violating every lease agreement that we had with them EXCEPT paying the rent. For several years they did as agreed but for some reason they just let the quality of everything in that building slide. We had no choice but to take them to court for lease violations. IF we were GREEDY, we would have looked the other way but we couldn't let them tear it up. I have heard so many of these nasty and untrue comments without trying to correct people for long enough. We told folks that we could not negotiate a new lease with the Olde Mill Steakhouse folks because they wanted to find another location in Fayette County and we didn't want to hurt their business. I am sick of hearing these comments. You may have liked the Olde Mill Steakhouse food but thank your lucky stars that you didn't get sick because they got a 69 on one of their food inspection reports. If you think I am making this up then go to the county and ask them. You may not have liked the Old Mill Fish and Grill food, but at least we were clean!!!

Too many folks in our area don't want to invest in the mill, but want to tell US what to do with it. We have NEVER wanted to do anything but give Fayette County something to be proud of. We are not greedy or mean spirited. If we were greedy, we would have just bandaged that old building up, thrown sawdust down and left it at that. You have no idea what you are talking about.

For your information we have talked to Long Horn, Outback, Red Lobster and several others but they don't want the building because it does not have their "corporate look".

All we want to do is make the property capable of having something nice in conjunction with the restaurant. - Perhaps a nice sports store, a museum, or antique store, or how about a great book store and coffee shop? What is wrong with that?

You are cruel to quote Neil as saying something that he did not say. I don't know where you get your information, but you need to find a truthful source before you spout out any more comments about anyone.

We need the support of the county. Instead of criticizing us, maybe you and others could take a constructive positive approach and help get the building in use again. We spent years of our lives working to create that beautiful landmark. How can that be considered greedy?

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Sat, 11/15/2008 - 9:04pm.

We told folks that we could not negotiate a new lease with the Olde Mill Steakhouse folks because they wanted to find another location in Fayette County and we didn't want to hurt their business.

What I was told by a couple of managers with that offshoot of Malone's is that you refused to negotiate a lease and wanted them to either vacate or buy the land/building and so they chose to walk and thought the price for purchase was highly overvalued. That's just what I was told.

Olde Mill was excellent, much unlike the first incarnation that went downhill rapidly or the last attempt. OM version 2.0 showed that a good restaurant can do a booming business at that location as it is with the right execution.

Submitted by Rachel99 on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 12:15pm.

I am telling you as owner that perhaps their executives did not want to share the truth with their managers. The truth, of which a part is that if you had been in the restaurant during the latter part of when Olde Mill Steakhouse was in operation AND had occasion to go to the men's or ladies room and sat on one of the toilets, you ran the risk of falling through the floor because they did not maintain the leaks. Neil had to replace the floor in several places because of their lack of concern. I could go on but maybe you get the picture. If the folks with Olde Mill Steakhouse had kept their contractual agreement with us they could still be there. It is not our fault that they chose to disregard their obligations. As I said, they paid the rent so if we were greedy, we would have just looked the other way and let them continue to destroy that beautiful building. You too, may have liked their food but you would have gotten sick to your stomach if you had gone into the kitchen while they were cooking your food!!

CarDealer's picture
Submitted by CarDealer on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 2:18pm.

How about we put a used car lot on that spot!!! Easy, just kidding!!
I'm just say'n...

Submitted by connerfromfayette on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 12:20pm.

The serenity of the Crystal Lake is such that as one of the 30,000 cars that travel past occasionally I can look over and see the Beauty of the lake and Damn. Thanks for not destroying this with an Auto Parts and Tire Store to block the view.
In addition, if you would go ahead and plow up the existing pavement and landscape the property with the natural surroundings you could probably make this into a Tourist trap and sell cheap junk from China. Just make sure it doesn’t have any lead paint though.

Submitted by turtlejack on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 11:49am.

Less we all remember that it was the Davis family that purchased this property years ago and leased it to what then became Olde Mill Steakhouse and one of the best places to eat in Fayette County. When the Davis' greed for an inflated leasing contract could not be married with Olde Mill (Malone's), Neil Davis turned them away publically stating that there were "plenty of other parties interested in purchasing the property". Yeah, where??? Who would want to purchase a property with a 100+ year old dam to contend with? Instead, we are left with another failed business deal, vacant restaurant and visions of an antique shop. Give me a break. The latest Davis venture (Old Mill Fish and Grill) was a disaster of bland food, lousy service, small portions and inflated pricing. Come to your senses Neil and lease this parcel to a restaurant that will make a go of it - get out of the property management business for yours and everyone else's sake.

Submitted by Bonkers on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 3:16pm.

Wouldn't exist if it was!

Doesn't claim to be. Can't!

If you mean County and City employees being nice and efficient, no.

Money spending by the local governments, including bonds and sales taxes, and property taxes, a toss up! This is used too much as an "employer" to suit me.

If you mean religion as a subject and a way to judge people, no.

bassfishga's picture
Submitted by bassfishga on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 7:08am.

I sure wish we could get Lambert's Cafe to buy it OR move into it. The building is the right kind of building for the type of food they sell and theme. The "Throwed Rolls" cafe.
and they have good food and good values
and they always have a line out the door.

eodnnaenaj1's picture
Submitted by eodnnaenaj1 on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 8:28am.

How cool, I just visited Lamberts this past summer! A little noisy for my taste, but the food was wonderful. The roll throwing they are famous for is something to see.

You know I just begin to wonder if the Old Mill is cursed, or haunted, or ????? seems nothing stays there for long. It is sad, it is really a very neat place to go, with the lake, ducks, and all; yeah, why don't you call Lambert's!

opustv's picture
Submitted by opustv on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 11:25pm.

If we convinced the folks at Pies On Pizza to move there it would be terrific. They need a bigger space (the place is always packed) and it would be closer to PTC! PTC folks have to escape to get awesome pizza since all we have is that Partners crap. Move Pies On to the Old Mill!!!!

bassfishga's picture
Submitted by bassfishga on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 9:59am.

How did this end up a debate about Pizza places?
Anyway, since we are on the subject. Partners is not too bad but Mellow Mushroom on Hwy 74 is the place to go for Pizza.

I just hope the owners of the Mill find a great solution to the problem.

kjam's picture
Submitted by kjam on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 9:18am.

Anthony's Pizza and Pasta on Hwy 54. There is plenty of space, the food is great, staff is friendly and bend over backwards for thier customers. You have plenty of options of food choices and it wont break the bank.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 9:29am.

The food and service is very good!

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Spyglass on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 8:52am.

It's not perfect, but it's ours. Good folks running that place, in my humble opinion.

Nothing beats a nice golf cart ride to Partners on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon.

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 10:41pm.

It is hard for me to understand how an empty restaurant generating ZERO revenue improves anyone's quality of life. It is equally difficult to see how an antique shop will be any worse for the neighborhood than a restaurant. Now, maybe hoodlums have begun scrap booking and antiquing, but I have yet to get that memo. I just don't see why folks would want to control, to this extent, someone else's property usage; property already used for commercial purposes. Is this small government staying out of our way???

hersheybear88's picture
Submitted by hersheybear88 on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 10:43pm.

I havent spoken to you in a while, are we still friends.

God Is In Control

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 10:50pm.


hersheybear88's picture
Submitted by hersheybear88 on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 10:44pm.

How is Wulfman?

God Is In Control

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 10:51pm.

How are you?

I wish I was in the room reading blogs aloud for Wulfman. It breaks my heart that people have to go through these things, but I trust he will be an even stronger person for having endured this. What's the verse:

We rejoice in our suffering.
For suffering brings perseverance
perseverance character
and character hope.....

Wait. I'll go find it....

Here it is

hersheybear88's picture
Submitted by hersheybear88 on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 4:44am.

Thank you Diva.

I wish I was in the room reading wulman these blogs. It helps so much to know others care.

Do you know how Wulman is doing?

You hit the nail on the verse.

How have you been doing? I have not been on a while. Busy, Busy, Busy.

Have a nice day

God Is In Control

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