CONYERS -- A zoning district that establishes streetscape design standards and architectural materials and design elements in the city's primary commercial district was approved by the City Council in June.
The new Village Design District encompasses a 435-acre stretch of land that extends from Interstate 20 to Miller Chapel Road. The new district is designed to create cohesive standards for streetscape design, land use, open space, site design, off-street parking and loading spaces, architectural design, landscape and screening requirements and other criteria for future development, according to the city.
The new zoning district will also help create economic opportunities for sustainable development and redevelopment while enhancing the aesthetic appearance of buildings, according to Marvin Flanigan, director of Planning and Inspections for Conyers.
The zoning change also included a change to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan to Special Mixed-Use Activity Center.
The Conyers/Rockdale Planning Commission held a public hearing on the zoning change and amendment to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan on June 14 and recommended approval. The City Council voted unanimously to approve the change at its June 15 regular meeting.
Property in the new Village Design district previously encompassed a mix of zoning and Land Use Plan designations.
One business owner in the new zoning district expressed some concern at the June 15 council meeting about the new requirements.
Ron Azers, of Rockdale Cargo Equipment on Old McDonough Road, said he had planned to replace his modular building with a new facility in a couple of years. With the new zoning requirements, however, Azers said he was afraid he couldn't afford a new building.
"This is putting me in a position to have to look the way we look until I pass over the river," Azers said.
Flanigan responded that many of the requirements in the new zoning are already on the books under other ordinances. David Spann, chief operating officer for the city, said some of the requirements would fall into the public rights of way and would not apply to the property owner.