Zoning Board to meet over Zoom on May 14

Photo of Ace Hardware front elevation (Stroud and Company photo)
Ace Hardware front elevation (Stroud and Company photo)
A new Ace Hardware store is proposed in Union Grove. (Stroud and Company photo)

The Henry County Zoning Advisory Board met on Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 pm. The meeting was held virtually over Zoom.

The ZAB considered four variance requests during the meeting. A public hearing was held for each agenda item.

Actions taken during the meeting have been added in light blue boxes.

Ace Hardware concept site plan (Land Engineering photo)
Ace Hardware would front Crumbley Road. (Land Engineering photo)

Ace Hardware on State Route 155

The owner of Ace Hardware on highway 81 in Ola is planning to expand by opening a new store at the corner of state route 155 and Crumbley Road in Union Grove. Site entrances are proposed off both streets.

The applicant, Michael Cox of Macon, GA, is requesting a variance from architectural standards in the highway corridor overlay district so as to match the existing facade on highway 81. The property has previously been zoned C-1 (neighborhood commercial).

In addition to the Ace Hardware store, three smaller spaces would be available for leasing. The proposed building totals 22,100 square feet.

The ZAB denied the applicant’s request for a variance.

SR 81 at Upchurch Road

Seven RA (residential agricultural) lots are proposed at the northeast corner of state route 81 and Upchurch Road. Minimum lot sizes would start at two acres with a net density of 0.32 units per acre.

The applicant, the Reservoir Group, is requesting variances from design standards in the highway corridor overlay district to support the proposed use. The overlay district’s requirements are designed for subdivisions; whereas, the proposed use features large lots fronting Upchurch Road.

Two-hundred eighty-five feet of road frontage along highway 81 is being preserved for future commercial development. No variances are being requested for this portion of the subject property and the highway corridor overlay district would continue to apply.

The ZAB approved the applicant’s request for variances.

Campground on Chambers Road

Shantell Reid of McDonough, GA is requesting a variance from driveway requirements to develop a campground. The seven-acre property is located at 540 Chambers Road.

The requested variance is to reduce the minimum driveway width from 28 feet to 20 feet. Planning staff recommend denial of the variance.

The ZAB denied the applicant’s request for a variance.

Sidewalk Bank for future projects

The existing salvage yard located at 761 Clark Drive in Fairview is planning to replace an aging trailer office with a permanent structure. The business owner must meet the intent of the highway corridor overlay district as a result of these improvements. In lieu of installing an 8’ sidewalk and street landscaping along the property’s road frontage, the applicant is requesting a variance to place the cost for the improvements into a sidewalk bank for use by Henry County.

Moving Henry Forward founder Clayton Carte has discussed the concept of a sidewalk bank with county staff on several occasions; however, this is the first use of it to our knowledge. The sidewalk bank would allow Henry County to use those funds to build sidewalks at an alternate location as approved by the board of commissioners.

Planning staff recommend approval of the variance. The value to be paid by the property owner / applicant into the sidewalk bank equals $729,926.34.

The ZAB tabled the applicant’s request for a variance. The request will be reconsidered at a later date.

This article was originally published on May 7. It has been updated on May 16 following the outcome of the meeting.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. Since 2017, he has written over 900 articles sharing local updates with the community.