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Stone Mountain city council defers action on auto dealership

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Stone Mountain city council defers action on auto dealership

City of Stone Mountain Municipal Building. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Jaedon Mason, contributor

This story has been updated. 

Stone Mountain, GA —  The Stone Mountain City Council during its July 5 meeting voted to table an application for an auto dealership.

Window Tinting by Hunt Motors is seeking a special use permit to operate a dealership on the land of their existing business at 810 Main Street. Brenda Hunt, who was not present at the last council meeting, spoke on July 5, clarifying a number of key points about the requested SUP and plans for the site.

Though the application says the lot can hold 18 cars, Hunt expects it to be closer to five to 10 consistently. Hunt also clarified that “minor repairs” actually refers to extremely minor maintenance like jumping a battery or putting air in tires, fixing other little things that can go wrong when a car is parked for a while. The business wouldn’t really convert to a dealership per se and would use excess space in the parking lot to sell cars.

The council voiced concerns about the aesthetics of a car lot so close to the center of the city and, while not technically a massive change, approving shifting the use of a parking lot to sell a few cars is still out of line with the city’s development plan for the area.

There was some discussion about a fence and planting some trees, but ultimately the council voted to table the matter until they could see a site plan and gave the applicant six months to create one.

In other business:

— The council considered an appeal from Ginger Criswell regarding a Historic Preservation Commission decision to deny the use of a specific kind of trim on her home. The “ball and spindle trim with corbels” is designated as characteristic of the “Victorian” style, while her house at 6535 James B. Rivers Memorial Drive is designated as a “Craftsman Bungalow”.  The easiest ways to tell the difference between the two styles are the steepness of the roof (the Victorian style being known for steep-pitched roofs, Craftsmen for low-pitched, gabled roofs), and the very ornateness of trim discussed.

Criswell made two points.

The first was that there was an overlap in the “Craftsmen” (1890s to 1930s) and “Victorian” (1860s-1900s) eras, and her house being built by all accounts around 1900 can be considered a part of either era. Two, she said the HPC did not have the authority to deny her installation in the first place as her house was not on the list of “Contributory buildings” submitted to the National Historic Register, so is outside the HPC’s jurisdiction.

The council unanimously approved Criswell’s appeal.

— The council renewed the city attorney’s agreement. the council intends to bid out this contract in the fall and plans to hire attorneys on a retainer basis instead of paying the attorney by the hour.

— The council announced there will be four outreach and input sessions for the next round of SPLOST funds. The first will be July 14 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church (5312 W Mountain St), and the second will be on Saturday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (location to be announced) and the last two will both be on Monday, July 17. These final two will be focused on hearing feedback from business owners and will be held at Ebenezer church in Sherman town 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 5380 Studios (Time to be announced).

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