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SF officials approve rezoning of property

SF officials approve rezoning of property

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 10:01 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
The South Fulton City Commission has voted to rezone residential property along East Collinwood and Wild Cherry Lane — a move which would allow the construction of duplexes.
However, the action giving final approval to an ordinance rezoning the property from R-1 (low-density residential) to R-2 (medium-density residential) wasn’t without some opposition.
Thursday night’s regular city commission meeting was opened with a public hearing for the purpose of hearing comments on a proposed rezoning ordinance for the area along the south side of East Collinwood and east of Wild Cherry Lane. The change was recommended by the South Fulton Municipal Planning Commission.
Several residents of the neighborhood attended the hearing, with three of them addressing the commission to express their opposition to the rezoning.
Donna Staggs said the action will place the duplexes in her backyard. She said the area is currently a quiet and well-kept neighborhood, one of the factors that appealed to her when she made the decision to move there. She said she does not like the idea of renters “coming and going.”
Don Livingston echoed her comments and said they currently enjoy a “nice, peaceful” neighborhood. He said he would have no objection if the people who own the property would want to build their own personal house there, but he said the people who own the property would not be living there.
Jared Bellamy said the action is “a slap in the face” to residents and he alleged it will lower property values in the neighborhood. He said residents currently enjoy a considerable amount of privacy on the dead-end street in an area that has a “country” feeling. He added that he would not have purchased his property if duplexes had already been there.
South Fulton city manager Jeff Vowell said there is no definitive opinion on whether the location of duplexes in the neighborhood will lower residents’ property values.
During the regular commission meeting immediately following the hearing, Vowell explained the original request for the rezoning came from property owner Eric Napier, who questioned whether he would be allowed to build two duplexes on the property. It was not allowed under the previous zoning and the city’s planning and zoning board was asked to examine the possibility of it being rezoned from R-1 to R-2, which would allow the construction.
Vowell said the rezoning would actually be an increase in the size of the R-2 area which runs up Collinwood and would not be a “spot zone.” He said the action was studied and approved by the South Fulton Municipal Planning Commission before being sent to the city commission for consideration.
Vowell said he fully understands residents’ concerns, but he said he must view the matter from a management and planning perspective. He said he finds no reason to deny the rezoning and said there are other duplexes in the area.
Commissioner Charles Moody made the motion to approve the rezoning and it was seconded by South Fulton Mayor David Crocker. They were joined by commissioners Tony Perry and Thomas Pettigrew in voting in favor of the rezoning. Vice mayor Keith Curlin was absent.
In other action during Thursday evening’s meeting, which was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and with prayer led by Moody, the commission:
• Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to make violation of the state code regarding proof of insurance a municipal violation.
• Learned the new roof has been completed over the public works section of the South Fulton Municipal Building, which Vowell said should remedy a problem with leaking.
• Was reminded the rural fire subscription open enrollment period has run throughout July, with the grace period for payment to be extended an extra week to Aug. 6 to allow subscribers to make payment.
• Learned negotiations are continuing with Verizon for possible placement of a cell tower in South Fulton.
• Was reminded the next Neighborhood Watch meeting is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Harvey O. Vick Community Room at the municipal building. Perry said 12 people attended a meeting last month and he hopes more citizens will become involved.
• Was reminded by Moody about a property recently damaged by fire which he hopes will be cleared and will not become an “eyesore.” Vowell said he will check into the matter.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.30.10

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