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Express Oil Change proposing to build vehicle repair service facility on Lawrenceville Highway

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Express Oil Change proposing to build vehicle repair service facility on Lawrenceville Highway

Express Oil Change is proposing to build a minor automobile repair facility at 2240 Lawrenceville Highway in Greater Decatur. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt.

Greater Decatur, GA — Express Oil Change is proposing to build a minor automobile repair service facility at 2240 Lawrenceville Highway near Shamrock Plaza in Greater Decatur.

The applicant is also requesting variances from DeKalb County to reduce the required pedestrian and landscape improvements with a C-1 (Local Commercial) zoning district. The property owner is seeking to reduce the streetscape frontage from a 10-foot path to an eight-foot path and reduce a six-foot landscape strip to a two-foot landscape strip where the deceleration lane is located, according to the application.

“There is an existing deceleration lane in the right-of-way that reduces the available streetscape space in the parcel frontage,” Project Manager Brett Buckland wrote in a letter to the county. “The proposed use is an allowed use in the zoning district, but there are architectural restrictions that require the bays in the building to face away from the street frontage.”

Buckland is with Bohler Engineering, who is representing Express Oil Change.

“The parcel owner is proposing to dedicate three feet of right-of-way along the frontage where the deceleration lane is located in order to provide a two-foot landscape strip and eight-foot path in the most limited location,” Buckland wrote. “The proposed streetscape outside of the deceleration lane is proposed to be the full width required by the code.”

He added that the property has limited depth and the project is required to keep the current deceleration lane and 50-foot transitional buffer in the rear of the location. According to the county staff findings, the transitional buffer is required because the property abuts a residential subdivision.

The project also includes a drive through, which will require a special land use permit, according to the county staff report. The county staff has recommended denial of the variances.

“However, staff reviewed the proposed site plan and the staff noted that both the ten (10) foot path and the six (6) foot landscape strip requirements can be met with a re-design of the site plan,” the staff report states. “There are six (6) parking spaces along the eastern edge of the building that could be removed or relocated on the site. According to the parking regulations, the minimum parking requirement for the site is 12 parking spaces. After the removal of the six (6) parking space, there will still be 17 parking spaces remaining. Furthermore, it seems that 2 parking spaces maybe be added to the side and rear parking strips.”

The staff report also notes that with the redevelopment of North DeKalb Mall, it’s likely that upcoming future land use changes may spark a need or desire for increased pedestrian connectivity.

“The requested variances may not be the minimum necessary to afford relief and may grant special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the zoning district,” the staff report states. “It seems that having applicant to re-design the site without the six (6) parking space along the east side of the building is a reasonable request to provide the adequate space to install the public improvements, thereby eliminating the need for both requested variances.”

The county Zoning Board of Appeals, during its July 12 meeting, deferred the application until the Sept. 13 ZBA meeting.

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