Organizers Tara Payne and Rydell Palmer, along with several supporters, attended the Tuesday, May 14 montly meeting of the council for a public hearing on their plans for Compassion Building, which was to open at 530 Main St. The duo, joined by multiple volunteers, had already invested time, money and energy into preparing the one-time Heilig-Myers furniture store for use as a center for a variety of charitable purposes. The proposed center was to include a food bank, clothing bank and also was to be the site of educational presentations, along with weekend activities for the young and elderly.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular meeting on the group’s request for a conditional use permit. The building is located within the city’s C-1 commercial historic district.
During the public comment portion of the hearing, objections were raised by Tommy Engram, speaking on behalf of the Downtown Business Association. Engram said the site was simply“ the wrong place for it,” noting that the city has expended a lot of effort to rebuild the downtown business district with tax incentives, and more than $1 million invested into the Streetscape project.
“We need to restrict (this area) for what it is zoned for,” Engram said.
A decision on the conditional use request came about an hour later, near the end of the regular session of the council, when it was heard under the heading of “new business.” The city’s attorney informed the council that the proposed use for the building would require several exemptions from the commercial zoning.
Requirements for a community center under the city’s zoning include acreage and buffer area restrictions that could not be met by the downtown location.
Based on the city attorney’s recommendation, the council decided to oppose the conditional use permit. However, as part of the motion, council decided to refund the group’s $500 application fee.
In other business, the commission:
Held the first reading for a request to annex and rezone property at 2240 Buchanan Hwy. The store, owned by Jimmy and Pat Burton, will be rezoned C2 General Commercial and is being brought into the city in order to allow Sunday sales of alcohol at that location. The store is now outside the city borders, and county voters in March rejected Sunday sales. City voters passed the Sunday sales ordinance.
Approved a conditional use request from J. Guadalupe Salgado for property at 125 Adamson Road. Salgado plans to operate an auto repair shop at the location, which is zoned for neighborhood commercial uses. He agreed to meet conditions set by the city, which include “not allowing wrecked/non-working vehicles to pile up.”
Approved a conditional use request from Roger Tillery, for 1309 S. Main St., to operate a private school. The location met requirements, according to a planning commission recommendation.
The school will be an expansion of the existing Covenant School. Tillery said pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will continue to be schooled at First Presbyterian Church. The new location will as grades 1-3 initially, with hopes to expand further.
Appointed Jamie Morris, co-owner of printing firm The CedarStream Co. in Cedartown, to the Polk County Development Authority to fill a vacancy.
Recognized former Cedartown Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Manning, who retired earlier this year. Manning was presented a gold watch.
Heard a presentation from the organizers of the annual Youth Summerfest, which will be held Saturday, July 28 at the Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Complex in Cedartown. Speaker Kenneth Brown said volunteers handed out more than 700 bookbags at last year’s event. They also handed out gold, silver and bronze medals for sporting events for all ages.
The city council approved the group’s request to again use the park for its charitable event.