A pallet business will have to vacate its current location in Winder after city council members voted unanimously Tuesday evening to deny a rezoning request for the property.
Owners Don and Kathy Wade had requested the approximately .19-acre parcel at 29 N. Beulah St. be rezoned from B-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) Zone to I (Industrial) Zone. The pallet business currently occupying the space, Jim Price Pallets, falls outside the uses allowed under the B-1 zoning classification.
Kathy Wade spoke during the citizen input portion of Tuesday's meeting, saying the building had always been used for light industry, housing a welding company and two cabinet shops in the past. Wade said if the council denied the rezoning request the property would sit vacant.
Becky and Thom Tollerson, the owners of , which is adjacent to the pallet business, also addressed council members. Thom Tollerson presented a petition signed by more than 80 individuals expressing support for the denial of the rezoning request.
Becky Tollerson said she had been asking the city to enforce the current B-1 neighborhood commercial zoning for the past four years.
Citing concern for the future of the property, Councilman Travis Singley made a motion to deny the rezoning request.
"It boils down to, it’s spot zoning," Singley said. "This new administration is cleaning up our city and that’s my focus, is just cleaning it up.”
Councilman Larry Evans echoed Singley's concern for future use of the property should it be rezoned for industry.
"I’m just really torn about this and being a business person myself I can understand where you’re coming from and I think we do have to look for the future," Evans said. "We would be putting this out in the open if we did zone it industrial ... One way or another someone’s going to lose in this.”
"It is spot zoning," Councilman Ridley Parrish added. "There are a lot of other areas that we need to approach that are in violation and have gone on for years and years and we’ve let it go.”
Winder Mayor David Maynard said he had walked up and down Beulah Street on Monday looking at the area and the businesses there.
"One thing I think that everyone in this room can agree on is these uses (neighborhood commercial and industrial) are incompatible," Maynard said.
City council members voted unanimously to deny the rezoning request.
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