For building type new to Fayette, county changes zoning

Fayette Planning and Zoning Director Pete Frisina. Photo/Ben Nelms.

n anticipation of buildings Fayette County has never seen before, the General-Business zoning ordinance was amended by the Fayette County Commission on July 25 to establish additional guidelines for building heights in the G-B zoning district.

County planning and zoning director Pete Frisina in his presentation said the rezoning discussion for Pinewood Atlanta Studios included the need to accommodate the height of soundstages.

The amendment would only allow a soundstage of 65 feet in height, with the setbacks and required acreage increasing incrementally for every foot of building height over 40 feet, Frisina said. The Pinewood soundstages are 300 feet off the roadway, Frisina added.

Frisina noted that Alvin Williams wants to construct a movie studio on G-B-zoned property along Ga. Highway 138 in north Fayette County. Williams had the first G-B rezoning request, Frisina said.

“The amendments regarding building height in G-B require that the setbacks and acreage be incrementally increased for a soundstage that is greater than 40 feet in height,” Frisina said in a July 16 letter.

Frisina said the planning commission considered two options dealing with building height and acreage.

The July 16 letter noted that Option I starts at 45 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 10-25 acres, 50 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 25-50 acres, 55 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 50-75 acres, 60 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 75-100 acres and 65 feet of height with more than 100 acres. Option 2 starts at 50 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 20-50 acres, 55 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 50-75 acres, 60 feet of height with a minimum acreage of 75-100 acres and 65 feet of height with more than 100 acres.

Frisina said the planning commission recommended Option 1 because it doesn’t increase the height too much on SR 138 and it gives Williams the 45 feet he originally wanted when the G-B zoning district was being created. County staff recommended Option 2 because it gives Williams the 50 feet he recently asked for in the workshops to keep him competitive with Pinewood and building height choices for other studios that may come into the county in the future.

Option 2 allows some flexibility and a compromise by increasing the acreage, Frisina told commissioners.

The board considered the two options and voted unanimously to accept Option 2.

Prior to the vote, North Fayette Community Association representative David Brill said he preferred Option 2, adding that the association had not voted on a preference, and that he had received no negative feedback.

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