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Lilburn council approves market and real estate study

LILBURN - Lilburn's downtown, U.S. Highway 29 overlay district and the former Readymix Concrete property on Killian Hill will be the focus of a real estate and market study approved by the Lilburn City Council Monday night.

The council approved a contract with Robert Charles Lesser and Co. to study the three areas at a cost not to exceed $65,000. With plans for revitalization along U.S. 29 and the downtown area, the council hopes the study will help entice quality development to the city.

"It will be kind of a map of what the city needs and what type of development the council is looking for," Council member Eddie Price said.

The study will focus on demographics, home sales, type and revenue of businesses, income level and other key factors developers need to determine the viability of a project in the area.

"This is going to be a very complete look at the area," Council member Diana Preston said. "We want to be able to show developers what Lilburn can do for them."

Car lot denied

Also related to their revitalization plans, the council denied a Special Use Permit request to allow a new and used car lot on U.S. 29.

The request from Enrique Baracaldo to rezone the .39 acres to allow the sale of approximately 25 cars was denied by the city's Planning Commission last month because of lot size and its location within the U.S. 29 overlay district.

"I have been in the automotive business a long time," Price said. "And this is a very small lot."

The property is also located in Lilburn's U.S. 29 Overlay District, an area where the Downtown Development Authority is trying to cut down on things like car lots and focus on redevelopment.

After denying the special use permit, Mayor Jack Bolton also directed the Planning Commission to review and recommend changes for minimum lot size for car dealerships.

The council also approved a zoning change Monday that will allow the SUP they approved several months ago to go into effect.

In May, the Council approved a request by Buggy One Inc. to allow an automotive repair facility at an existing used car sales lot on U.S. 29. The dealership has been operating an auto repair shop there without a special-use permit for many years, but now wants to sublease the repair portion to another company.

The problem came when it was discovered the 2-acre parcel contained three different zonings, C-1, C-2 and R-100. With the majority of the property in the C-1 zoning and city ordinances not allowing automotive repair within C-1 zoning, the zoning of the property had to be changed. The council approved the SUP in May and the zoning change Monday.

The C-1 and C-2 portions of the property will be C-2 and the R-100 zoning will not change.

"By keeping that last section R-100 it forces a larger buffer between the commercial property and the residential property to the rear," City Planer Kevin McOmber said.