Sunday November 29th, 2015 12:11AM

Gainesville planning staff recommends denial of law office proposal

By Ken Stanford
GAINESVILLE - The city of Gainesville planning staff is recommending denial of an application to locate a law office in an area rezoned 13 years ago to protect the historical nature of the neighborhood.

Jonathan Pope is requesting that the zoning for 135 North Avenue be changed from Neighborhood-Conservation to Residential-Office.

The city's planning staff, however, is recommending denial of his request "based on the Comprehensive Plan and the adjacent and nearby single-family residential land uses." The staff recommendation also notes that in 2005, a similar rezoning request to establish a law office with four employees on the same piece of land was given a recommendation of denial by the planning staff and the planning and appeals board. The city council subsequently denied the request.

As we reported a week ago, Pope's request is due to go before the planning and appeals board on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday's agenda is a request from America's Home Place to rezone 4.7 acres on Dawsonville Highway across from Beechwood Boulevard and the Olive Garden and Cheddar's restaurants so that it can be used for commercial purposes - retail business, a restaurant and vehicle services, according to the application.

The planning staff is recommending approval of that request - with these conditions:

1. An automotive paint and body repair shop or auto sales facility is not an approved use for the property.

2. There shall be no junk vehicles or vehicles used for parts stored on the property.

3. All service bay doors are not to be directly visible from Dawsonville Highway.

4. A uniform sign plan shall be provided for the entire development as outlined in the Gainesville Unified Land Development Code.

5. The applicant, Georgia DOT and Gainesville Public Works will re-evaluate the need for a traffic signal at the median break on Dawsonville Highway in front of the site and the private road serving Olive Garden and Cheddar's. Any new road improvements will be the financial responsibility of the applicant/developer, America's Home Place.

6. An updated as-built boundary survey/plat of the property, indicating existing conditions and all improvements, shall be recorded prior to obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy for future professional office use.
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