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Commission shoots down T. Street commercial rezoning proposal

The Lamar County commission voted unaninously Tuesday night to deny a request to rezone 1.2 acres at the intersection of Thomaston Street and Veterans Parkway in Barnesville from R-1 residential to C-2 commercial for a retail discount store which, by all indications, would have been a Dollar General. Meeting coverage by Kay S. Pedrotti: The Lamar County commission’s vote Tuesday night was unanimous to deny Donald R. Haywood’s application for a zoning change for his property at the southeast corner of Thomaston Street adjacent to highway 341. About 90 people came to the public hearing; 10 of them spoke against rezoning 1.2 acres of the Haywood land from R-1 residential to C-2 highway commercial. Commissioner Ryran Traylor moved to accept the planning board’s recommendation that the rezoning be turned down for reasons stated by the board and relayed by Dan Gunter, planning and zoning director. Reasons given were because the applicant’s request was inconsistent with the residential area, the proposed location for a retail business would have serious access problems, other locations were available for retail development, and ‘the community’s character is important.’ Traylor’s motion was seconded by Nancy Thrash and loudly applauded by the audience. The speakers’ common theme centered on the preservation of the ‘front porch’ of historic Thomaston Street and the premise that the site would become the first of a deluge of ‘creeping commercial’ uses that would destroy the atmosphere and appeal of the city and county. Atlanta resident Lindsey Yarborough, who had extensively researched traffic statistics and other reasons not to rezone, described herself as a potential home buyer who ‘did not choose Thomaston Street as a place to live because it had a Dollar General on the corner, but because it didn’t.’

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