Honorable Mayor and Councilors
City Manager
City Attorney
Clerk of Council

Subject: (REZN-01-19-0007) Request to amend the text of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) regarding Table 3.1.1. – Health and Fitness Facilities to read as follows:
UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE REVISIONS
(Explanation of Revisions)

Use
Category
HISTRE10RE5RE1RTSFR1SFR2SFR3SFR4RMF1RMF2MHPUPTCRDNCROCOGCSACLMIHMITECHNOTES
Health & Fitness FacilitySEPPPPPPP

Additional Information:

This Text Amendment would allow Health and Fitness Facilities into the Historic District as a Special Exception Use. This also includes single parcel lots located outside of the Historic District but are zoned Historic, those include parcels located in Waverly Terrace, High Uptown and Highland Hall.

Attached map includes the list of buildings that meet the criteria of the special exception in the Historic District. Those addresses are as follows:

01. 800 Front Avenue
02. 18 9th Street
03. 710 Front Avenue
04. 627 2nd Avenue
05. 543 3rd Avenue
06. 222 5th Street
07. 425 3rd Avenue

The central issue of this application is the request to amend the Unified Development Ordinance to allow for health and fitness uses as a Special Exception in the Historic zoning classification. It is not at this time the purpose to discuss whether a special exception should be allowed at a particular location. That will come later should the Council approve this request.

There are some Pros and Cons about this request that Council should take under consideration before approving this request:

Pros:
Cons:

Background:

In August 2018, a permit for building alterations at 710 Front Avenue were issued to the contractor and the plans were approved. In September-October 2018, inspections were performed and the occupant (Crossfit CSG) received a Certificate of Completion. On October 8, Joanne Cogle, the business owner, came in to pull a Certificate of Occupancy for a Health & Fitness Facility. However, said use is not a permitted use in the HIST zoning district. Upon consultation with the Planning Department, it was deemed a government facility (where zoning does not typically apply). Ms. Cogle was permitted to operate.

On November 12, 2018, the Planning Department received an email of complaint from a neighbor. The Planning Department forwarded the email to the City Attorney’s Office for an opinion. On November 13, the City Attorney provided case law that stated, “In their use of land, a state government or its agencies are immune from operation of local zoning regulations government agencies.” The Planning Department forwarded said opinion to the neighbor. The neighbor countered this opinion and after some back and forth, the City Attorney ruled on November 16 that the property was not exempt from zoning due to O.C.G.A. 50-8-2, which concerns regional commissions (the River Valley Regional Commission is part owner of the building). Special Enforcement was sent to the property on December 3 to advise the business owner to come into zoning compliance.

Ms. Cogle appeared on the December 11 City Council Public Agenda to request a temporary Certificate of Occupancy until she can pursue the rezoning/text amendment process. Council was presented with two options: rezone the property from HIST district to CRD district or amend the text of the UDO to allow Health & Fitness Facilities as a Special Exception Use in the HIST district.

Council approved a temporary Certificate of Occupancy of 120 days on December 11, 2018. The extension was approved on February 12, 2018 for an additional 120 days.

Recommendations:

The Planning Advisory Commission (PAC) considered this text amendment at their meeting on January 16, 2018. The PAC recommended denial with a 4-3-1 vote.

Councilor Woodson made a motion on February 12, 2018 for the Text Amendment to be sent back to the Planning Advisory Commission. A Public Meeting was held on February 28, 2018 to discuss all viable options for the case.

The Planning Advisory Commission (PAC) reconsidered this text amendment at their meeting on March 20, 2018. The PAC recommended approval with a 5-3 vote.

The Planning Department recommends approval.

Sincerely,


Rick Jones, AICP
Director, Planning Department

HIST MAP Buildings Greater Than 15000 Ft2.pdfHIST MAP Buildings Greater Than 15000 Ft2.pdf