Senoia expands downtown with rezoning vote

A small, but significant, expansion is coming to Senoia’s downtown shopping district. The City Council on March 17 approved a request to rezone a .3-acre residential lot on Barnes Street to General Commercial (GC) to accommodate the construction of a retail building which will house three small shops.

The .302-acre property is located at the corner of Barnes Street and Travis Street. The rezoning request called for a 3,126 sq. ft. building with a brick “historic-looking” facade to be constructed on the corner of the intersection. The L-shaped building is expected to house three small retail stores. Applicant Dave McGraw told council members he had received interest from a jewelry store and from “Mom and Pop” retail operators.

Vehicular entry to the retail space would be off Barnes Street with Travis Street used as the exit point. The property will accommodate less than a dozen vehicles, though city-owned parking is also available directly across Travis Street. The city also owns a large parking area to the north along Barnes Street.

The perimeter of the property will be fenced and landscaped and a berm will be installed between the site and the adjacent property on Travis Street. Other improvements will include the installation of sidewalks and street lighting similar to that found on Main Street. Those improvements will have the effect of tying the new retail space to the downtown shopping area on Main Street.

Though the future land use map for the area shows the property zoned residential, City Administrator Richard Ferry said the move by the city to create the large parking space at the corner of Barnes and Seavy Street “essentially begins to transform the immediate area.”

The rezoning approval came with a unanimous vote.

Senoia in recent years has experienced a transformation in retail offerings in the Main Street area of downtown. It was in 2007 that only seven businesses were operating downtown. Yet for more than two years there have been approximately 50 businesses operating downtown. Retail space is extremely limited in the downtown area since the transformation that saw Senoia become a draw for increasing numbers of shoppers from Coweta and Fayette counties and beyond.

It is along Barnes Street, running one block to the east of and parallel to Main Street, that there exists the possibility for an increase in retail offerings.

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