Amid controversy, Norcross passes preservation ordinance

NORCROSS - Monday night's City Council meeting agenda had an item on it that, some said, misled both the public and a few council members.

It was a motion to approve or deny the development of a historic preservation ordinance. But as discussion progressed on the topic, it was clear that some council members thought they were voting on getting the ball rolling on developing an ordinance, while others intended to pass an ordinance already written months earlier.

The end result is that, by a vote of 3-2, Norcross did indeed pass a historic preservation ordinance. The enabling portion of the ordinance calls for a committee of five city residents to define the boundaries of the historic district and notify affected property owners.

City Council members have the final say, following a public hearing, in boundary ratification. Still, Councilman David McLeroy voiced his opposition to the way the matter was handled.

"I think we misled the public with the way the agenda item was worded," McLeroy said.

Councilman Charlie Riehm went further, after the ordinance was passed, to try to name the five appointees. Mayor Lillian Webb said that, as a matter of courtesy, Riehm should have at least let her and the other council members know who the people were. With that remark, Riehm agreed to wait until the September council meeting to name the committee appointees.

Rezonings approved on Autry and Nesbit Streets

Developer Miller Lowry requested and received rezonings for properties fronting both Nesbit and Autry streets. Lowry plans to build five houses on the lots but had to get R-75 zoning in order to make his project work. The five lots are about 12,000 square feet each, but they do not all have the required 75 ft. width required for the low-density R-75 designation.

Council members voted unanimously to grant the rezoning.