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Liquor store rejected by DeKalb planning commission
by Christine Fonville
July 15, 2014 10:49 AM | 2918 views | 2 2 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents and business owners near I-285 and Lawrenceville Highway, who have been fighting a proposed liquor outlet, at 2788 Lawrenceville Hwy. in Decatur, received the news they were wanting to hear when the DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability’s planning commission members unanimously recommended denying a special land-use permit to allow the store to sell liquor.

“The planning commission recommended denial for the reasons stated in the staff report and because they did not feel that the proposed alcohol outlet was appropriate given neighborhood opposition,” said department Senior Planner Melora Furman.

The staff report indicated the proposed liquor outlet did not meet property codes among other concerns.

 Part of the report read “during the review process, staff determined that the property is located approximately 125 yards from the nearest residential property, but an alcohol outlet must be at least 200 yards from the nearest residence in order to sell distilled liquor.”

Further reasons for the denial were listed as site conditions, including congestion at the intersection of Lawrenceville Highway and Montreal Road and difficulty with a high volume of cars being able to maneuver within the site.

“Part of the reason for the denial was because although the size of the parking lot met parking standards, there is room for only one curb cut on Montreal Road, and it is located less than 200 feet from the intersection, which does not provide much maneuvering room,” said DeKalb County Zoning Administrator Marian Eisenberg.

“Also, chapter four of the county code states that the business should be separated from the nearest resident by 200 yards and the proposed store would only be about 140 yards away.”

The next step will be for the case to be presented to the board of commissioners July 22 where, Furman said, an appeal could be filed after the board makes a decision.

Janel Green — who has coordinated groups of residents and business owners who are against the proposal to show up to and speak at the meetings — said the hearing last week was a positive opportunity for the community to let their voices and opinions be heard. 

“This was a very positive opportunity for us to present our concerns about the proposed liquor store as a community and we are pleased the planning commission did vote unanimously to deny it,” she said.

Green said the community would like to work with the planning department to help formalize a vision and look for opportunities to promote improvements and positive economic growth in the area.

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