LaGrange City Council held two public hearings and a first read for proposed rezonings on Barry Avenue and North Greenwood Street.
Developers of a property in the 800 block of North Greenwood are requesting a change from mixed use to general commercial to allow them to build a convenience store.
The property, which is adjacent to Turner Street, had been zoned for mixed use several years ago but has since changed ownership. A mixed use zoning is restrictive and wouldn’t allow a convenience store, although developers say they still want to do some residential building later on the backside of the property. The backside isn’t involved in the rezoning request.
No one in the audience spoke on either rezoning, but Councilman Bobby Traylor said Amberwood Apartments residents as well as adjacent homeowners are concerned about traffic and influx of commercial uses. The apartments are nearby the proposed zoning.
Mayor Jeff Lukken said although Tuesday was a first reading, the city would be happy to hear from residents before a final vote is taken later this month.
Council had agreed to the hearing last month with the stipulation LaGrange police do a traffic study of the area. Any curb cuts also would need approval from Georgia Department of Transportation since the road is a state highway. City Manager Tom Hall said Tuesday those issues still are being investigated.
Council held a hearing on 18 Barry Avenue, changing the zoning from residential to commercial. The property fronts Hogansville Road and the developer would like to open a lawyer or accountant office. Council members briefly discussed on Tuesday allowing only OIR zoning – office, industrial, residential – which could further restrict what is built on the property and allow for a “softer transition” between commercial properties and nearby residential.
“A commercial zoning opens it up to eat up the residential zoning,” Traylor said.
Council eventually agreed to make the change to commercial zoning and not ask the developer to consider OIR.