Grayson council approves changes to zoning ordinance

GRAYSON - Since its approval last April, changes to the Grayson zoning ordinance have been a frequent topic of discussion for the Grayson City Council. Those changes were approved Monday.

The modifications are primarily for the design standards for businesses along Ga. Highway 20. When approved a year ago, the council had doubts about the ordinance's no-front-side parking requirement for businesses along Ga. 20. Monday's update will allow a single row of parking in front of the business and also includes specifications for several zones between the edge of the road and the front of the building.

"This is a major change to our ordinance," Mayor Jim Hinkle said. "It really softens up the look of Ga. Highway 20."

These zones will include a sidewalk zone in the right-of-way along Ga. 20, a 3-foot high bermed landscape zone with required trees, a vehicular access zone to include a single row of parking, a pedestrian zone between the parking area and the stores and a storefront zone that will leave room for awnings or other elements in front of the store itself.

"This really does make a much greener Grayson," council member Jimmy Adams said. "We are going to have a lot more vegetation than we would with the original plan."

The pedestrian zone will also include requirements for benches, trash cans, planters, bicycle racks and tree grates. Although the council has not chosen the exact style of the street furniture, each developer will be provided with an approved list of models and makes for the street furniture.

"There is nothing on the board right now," Hinkle said. "So we don't have to make a decision right now. Let's take some time and pick out the look we want."

In other business, the Grayson Council:

•approved the use of a $100 donation from the Eastside Medical Center Auxiliary to purchase a DVD/VHS player for the Senior Center.

•approved a variance for Brand Bank to have a new sign after the Georgia Department of Transportation required the Bank to move the sign.

•approved a buffer encroachment for a development on Grayson New Hope Road. The encroachment will only be for the grading period and will be replanted once final grading is completed.