City Council to hear night club application

CONYERS -- The Conyers City Council is expected to hear a request Wednesday night from the manager of Lotus Bistro, who would like to have his business permitted as a night club rather than a restaurant.

Adrian Thomas, acting as the agent for S&S Hale Properties LLC, spoke to the Conyers-Rockdale Planning Commission Thursday regarding a request to amend the Conyers Comprehensive Land Use Plan from Special Mixed-Use Activity Center to General Commercial and to rezone 2.72 acres from Gateway Village-Urban Village to Highway Service Business district. Thomas is also asking for a special use permit to allow a night club as an additional permitted use. Lotus Bistro is located at 1381 Iris Drive on an outparcel in the Salem Gate shopping center.

Thomas explained that allowing Lotus Bistro to be permitted as a night club would make it possible to charge a cover charge, which would pay for the cost of live entertainment. A night club would also all him to require that patrons be at least 21 years of age to enter.

Thomas said the restaurant currently draws between 200 to 300 patrons per week. He said while there were some problems at the business under previous management, the business now draws a more mature crowd.

"It's a different crowd than what it used to be," he said. "If people didn't want what we have, then the business would have died already."

Conyers city planner J.P. Alexander told the Planning Commission that current zoning regulations require that a night club not exceed 4,000 square feet of gross leasable floor area; Lotus Bistro has more than 8,000 square feet. In addition, the code requires that a night club must be at least 1,500 linear feet from a residential zoning district. Lotus Bistro is located within about 640 feet of a residential district, according to the city.

The city's Department of Planning and Inspection recommended denial of the CLUP and zoning changes; the Planning Commission agreed. A public hearing on the issue will be held Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Conyers City Council meeting.