Fayette Commission questions zoning at Hwys.74-85

County staff and the planning commission will soon begin evaluating possible zoning changes to land surrounding the intersection of Ga. highways 74 and 85 south along with the newly realigned Padgett Road.

That’s the intersection southeast of the Starr’s Mill school complex and just west of the historic structure known as Starr’s Mill.

The impetus for the review is based on a request several years ago from several property owners who wanted the land use changed from residential to commercial, according to county staff. At the time, they were told the matter would be reviewed after the Hwy. 74 road widening was complete.

Now that the road project is finished, county planners want to take a look at the land surrounding the intersection, which is currently zoned for agriculture-residential development. Such a zoning requires minimum lot sizes of five acres per home.

If the area goes commercial, Planning and Zoning Director Pete Frisina said his feeling is for it to be more along the lines of a convenience use.

The matter will be studied by county staff and the planning commission, which will prepare a recommendation as to whether the land use map should be amended to allow some sort of commercial use in the future.

The final say on the land use designation rests with the county commission.

Commissioner Steve Brown said he liked the idea of using an overlay zone, which would require certain standards for architecture to be met. But Brown said he didn’t like the idea of a gas station in the area because of the burden it would put on traffic.

Commissioner Robert Horgan said he didn’t like the idea of a gas station being near a county reservoir, but Frisina noted that most of the topography has the water flow going away from that area.

A gas station and convenience store is allowed as a conditional use on property zoned for either “community commercial” or “highway commercial” use.

Frisina said the study process would probably take “a while” and once the planning commission makes a decision, he would forward the meeting minutes to the county commissioners for review.