Winder property rezoned for apartments

WINDER — The 15,000-square-foot property located at 197 Georgia Ave. was rezoned from two-family residential to multi-family residential.

Owner Andrew Flanigan plans to build an apartment building on the site. Once a motion was made to approve the rezoning during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Travis Singley requested a change to the motion that would require an impervious surface be installed to serve as a driveway/parking area.

Councilman Bob Dixon said that he respectfully disagreed with the amendment.

“Probably 50 percent of the driveways on Georgia Avenue are paved, and about 50 percent are not,” Dixon said. “There’s already gravel (in a horseshoe shape) on this property. If we require this particular house to have a paved driveway, we’d have to require that the house next door pave theirs.”

The adjoining property is in foreclosure, and renovations are being made to ready the property for sale.

Councilman Sonny Morris said gravel, grass and even dirt driveways are an issue all over the city where apartments are located, not just on Georgia Avenue.

“The city doesn’t have an ordinance requiring paving,” Morris said. “I just don’t think that this is the place where we want to draw that line in the sand.”

Singley explained that, as the councilman who represents the ward in which Georgia Avenue is situated, he is concerned with what is best for the families that reside in that ward.

“This is an area that needs improvement,” he said. “I represent the families living in those houses. I’m thinking about what’s best for them.”

Singley went on to explain that hard rains bring mud, and mud washes into city streets. “I think we need to set a precedent now, from the residents’ standpoint and the city’s.”

When a vote was taken to approve Singley’s amendment, the change was defeated 3-2. Singley and Councilman Larry Evans voted to approve the requirement, and Morris, Dixon and Councilman Alfonza Brown voted against it.

The decision to approve the rezoning was approved by a vote of 3-2, with Singley and Evans voting to deny.

Mayor David Maynard and the council agreed that eventually the impervious surface issue with respect to driveways and parking will have to be addressed by a city ordinance.

Municipal fines changed

The established fines for various offenses within the city were changed Tuesday. While the changes approved affect many possible infractions, of particular note were the marked changes with respect to furnishing alcohol and tobacco to minors.

The fine for the offense of furnishing or acquiring alcohol for a minor was raised from $151 to $1,000. Selling, furnishing or distributing tobacco to a minor will now result in a $1,000 fine. Previously, the penalty was a $302 fine.

Conditional-use request approved

Jennifer Faulk, owner of the property located at 17 W. Stephens St., was granted approval of a conditional-use request for that property Tuesday. Faulk and applicant Barry Webb asked for approval of a single-family residence on the site, in conjunction with a business on that same site. The property is zoned as a neighborhood commercial property.