Shotwell Street home to remain a residence

Published 1:11 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

A rezoning request, which would have allowed the use of a historic Shotwell Street home as an antique store, has been withdrawn, City Manager Chris Hobby said.

Applicant Sharon Jeter, with the permission of the owners of a house at 442 E. Shotwell St., had requested rezoning of the property from urban low-density residential to neighborhood business, which would have allowed the house to be used as an antique shop. However, Jeter withdrew the request after neighbors expressed opposition to the rezoning when the Planning Commission considered the request at its Dec. 13 meeting, Hobby said.

Before the Planning Commission, Jeter stated she had desired to turn the so-called “Cooper House” into an antique shop and possibly live there after retirement. The home’s co-owners, Frances Cooper Bricken and Carolyn Cooper Maudlin, had spoke in support of Jeter’s request, noting that there were two other businesses — a jewelry store and a realty office — on either side of the property. Mauldlin added that the home had been marketed for sale as a residence for the past three years, with no takers.

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However, several neearby residents of Shotwell Street spoke in opposition to the request before the Planning Commission, with the main argument being that allowing a residence to be used for a business threatened to further erode the historic nature of downtown Shotwell Street.

The Planning Commission voted two to one to recommend denial of the request. Joe Truhett and Eddie Brinson voted for denial, while Marcie Miller voted for approval. Planning Commission members Lillie Brown and Greg McDonald were absent.


Other Planning Commission business

The Council unanimously approved the following Planning Commission business:

• Conditional use request from Sharlene Joyce Moore to allow a group home at 303 N. Thronateeska Drive

• Conditional use request from Joseph Bright to allow a group home at 1040 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

• Conditional use request from Joseph Bright to allow a group home at 603 O’Neal St.

• Request from the City of Bainbridge to correct the zoning of the properties at 223 Russ St., 210 Russ St. and 901 E. Water St. (collectively known as The Friendship House of Jesus) from urban medium-density residential to institutional use.

• Request from Lonnie Watson to set the zoning of his property at 2224 Fowlstown Road, which was recently annexed by the City Council, to suburban residential.


Council honors retirees

The city council presented resolutions honoring the retirement of long-time employees Carol Shealy, Fred Black and Nelson Harrell. Shealy was first employed by the City of Bainbridge on Feb. 13, 1997, as an administrative assistant.

At the time of his retirement, Black had attained the rank of captain with the Public Safety Department and had worked with the city since Feb. 10, 1982.

At the time of his retirement, Harrell had attained the rank of fire truck driver/engineer and had worked for the city since Dec. 11, 1974.


Other business

In other business, the city council:

• Approved a resolution in support of a grant application to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division. If approved for the grant, the city would receive approximately $16,000 to go toward the cost of determining the number and location of all grave sites at Pineview Cemetery off College Street. The city is in the process of condemning the private cemetery so that it can be turned into a publicly-maintained cemetery.

• Approved a resolution mandated by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, which has lent the City of Bainbridge money to complete its Sewer Master Plan project. The resolution essentially states that the city will not raise its utility rates in order to perform maintainance of its water towers.

• Witnessed the swearing-in of new Public Safety Director Eric Dwayne Miller, and new Public Safety Officer Ken Williams. Mayor Reynolds performed the swearing-in oaths.


Bids and bills

The council unanimously approved the following bids and bills:

Bills: $7,750 from Concrete Design Unlimited/Southern Triad of Bainbridge to repair water damage to the floor of the Bainbridge Community Center; $233,231 from Turner, Wood and Smith Insurance Agency of Gainesville, Ga., for worker’s compensation premium; $25,929.50 from Decatur County Commissioners for November inmate labor and landfill charges; and $5,000 from the Georgia Municipal Association for telecommunication management.