Norcross postpones decision on day care rezoning

NORCROSS — The property located at 145 Brit Ave. in Norcross will keep its C-3 zoning status, after a vote on whether to rezone it C-2 for the purposes of locating a children’s day care there was postponed Monday.

At issue was whether the applicant would have to remove the fence that is on the front lawn of the property. There is already an existing building at that location, a former residence that has been used to house a business. The fence is considered an “existing non-conforming structure,” and city council members could require its removal once the property changes hands and is rezoned.

Real Estate agent Celia Wooten addressed Mayor Bucky Johnson and council members Monday, saying that the condition requiring fence removal poses a hardship to both the seller and the potential buyer of the property. The buyer, who plans to open a day care center serving a maximum of 16 children, said that leaving the fence in place ensures the safety of children being dropped off at the center.

Councilman Andrew Hixson said Monday that he would like to see the fence removed in an attempt to make the property and structure more appealing visually. Johnson added, “That’s a tough call, because you’re talking about the safety of the kids versus the visual.”

Chris McCrary, the city’s Community Development Director, said Monday that the decision is the council’s to make, but that the fence can still be considered an existing non-conforming structure, with the new owner allowed to keep it in place. McCrary said that the barbed wire at the top of the fence should be removed, also in the interest of child safety.

A decision regarding the requested rezoning and conditions will be made at the November City Council meeting.

Speed limit to change on South Peachtree Road

Police chief Dallas Stidd requested Monday that the city’s speed zone ordinance be amended to reduce the speed on South Peachtree Road. The portion of the road between Holcomb Bridge Road and Jones Street will have a speed limit of 25 mph, reduced from 35 mph. The new speed limit will go into effect Dec. 31.

“We thought 35 mph was a little too fast for the downtown area,” Stidd said. Monday night’s request was part of a standard three-year review of the city’s speed zones, which are also reviewed by the Georgia Department of Transportation.