Council denies UDO change request to allow for Twin Cedars treatment facility

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 25, 2022

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The LaGrange City Council denied a city code text modification request Tuesday, stalling Twin Cedars’ plans for a proposed treatment facility group home on its property.

The council denied the request to modify sec. 25B-30-9 of the city unified development ordinance regarding the city’s minimum distance requirements in regards to residential group living uses. Twins Cedars,  a LaGrange youth and families non-profit, had submitted a permit to reopen a group treatment facility on its Johnson Street property.

However, through the current inner-city distance requirements, the proposed facility would be considered too close to the treatment facility on Greenville Street owned by New Ventures and the Calumet Center for Healing and Attachment.

The current UDO requires a minimum of 800-foot property-line-by-property-line distance requirement between facility-style buildings. The typical city blocks are typically 600 to 700 feet in length, City Planner Mark Kostial said. To reduce the 800-foot requirement, allowing more than one treatment facility to operate in the same lot, could potentially lead to “clustering,” Kostial said. 

The council denied the request based on the suggestion of the Troup County Planning and Zone Board, which denied the request at its March 10 meeting.

“If the Planning Commission had an inclination to do something to make this use possible, they would consider adjusting the 800-foot distance requirement, which they had some concerns with doing,” he said.

Dr. Robert Tucker, who serves on the board, said personal care facilities had come through the area before but soon left.

“We were left with nothing, and we were left not knowing where this is all going,” he said. “The community had never had the opportunity to be prepared for these things. If something like this is coming, we have to have time to understand what it is and how it may impact the community.”

In other business at the meeting, the board held public hearings for three requests:

  • No comments were received for the public hearing to rezone property located at 304 Broad Street, or the Truitt-Mansour House, from traditional neighborhood residential to downtown mixed-use. The reason for the rezoning is for the owner of the property to convert the house into an event center and to allow for the construction of townhomes behind the property in the future, Kostial said. The council voted to approve the request.
  • No comments were heard on a request to rezone property located in the 800 block of New Franklin Road from traditional neighborhood residential and manufactured mobile home to corridor mixed-use. The reason for the rezoning is for the owner of the property may use it for self-storage. The council voted to approve the request.
  • No comments were heard on a request to annex and zone property located at 1350 LaFayette Parkway, B’s Meat Market, from Troup County general commercial to corridor mixed-use. The owners of the property plan to set up a food truck court behind the business. The council voted to approve the request.