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Decatur City Commission approves redevelopment of Thankful Baptist parking lot

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Decatur City Commission approves redevelopment of Thankful Baptist parking lot


At its May 21 meeting, Decatur City Commissioners approved zoning for a project that involves building housing and live-work spaces on the parking lot of Thankful Baptist Church.

The Planning Commission recently approved a plan that would create 13 housing units: three single family homes on Mead Road, six town homes on Mead Road and four live-work town homes along W. College Avenue.

Dan Baskerville, who represented residents living near the project, said the residents did not oppose the application after working through concerns over the project’s design.

“The application before you tonight has changed a lot and has a lot more details than what was originally submitted,” he told the City Commission.

Weslee Knapp, a Realtor working with the church on the rezoning process, said it was a compromise all around.

“Nobody got exactly their way but everybody’s going to end up better for it, I think,” Knapp said.

Mayor Patti Garrett thanked all the parties for working together to resolve their differences.

A consultant to Thankful Missionary Baptist Church in October announced plans to sell one acre of its property.

The church, in turn, will use proceeds from the sale to fund much needed improvements to the space it has occupied since 1971. The congregation is considerably older, founded in 1882, making it the oldest African American Baptist church in Decatur and the second oldest in DeKalb County. The church moved to West College when the church’s location on Atlanta Avenue was destroyed by fire. The church has around 250 active members. The gravel parking lot that is up for sale was originally purchased to build a sanctuary that is no longer needed.

A developer for the project has not been identified.

Editor’s note: This story was reported by watching an online video stream of the City Commission meeting.