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Tucker approves new Lawrenceville Highway district

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Tucker approves new Lawrenceville Highway district

L to R Council member Alexis Weaver, Council member Cara Schroeder, Mayor Frank Auman, Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner, Council member Virginia Rece. Council member Noelle Monferdini on screen. Photo by Sara Amis

Tucker, GA — The Tucker city council approved a new zoning map for the area along Lawrenceville Highway between Cooledge Road and Brockett Road at their regular meeting on Nov. 13.  A list of new zoning designations was approved in September, and the new map creates a special district along the Lawrenceville Highway corridor aimed at facilitating redevelopment.

The new zoning map approved by the city council.

Tucker Community Development Director Courtney Smith said that part of the goal was to encourage more mixed use development that will create walkability and new places to eat and shop.

Smith said that the goal was also to create flexibility for the future, but that the rezoning will not create immediate changes. Smith emphasized that  existing businesses will be able to continue to operate there.

Councilmember Virginia Rece pointed out that this special zoning district came out of the lengthy process of creating a comprehensive plan for the city, which incorporated a great deal of community input.

During public comment, James Hall said that his family has owned property along that stretch of Lawrenceville Highway since the 70s, and even though he believes that the zoning change will lower the value of their property, he supported a swift decision so that potential deals can go forward.

Business owner Andrew Muliszewski said that he believes the rezoning will reduce the value of his property, and that he opposed it for that reason.

Smith said in response that she believes the wider variety of possible land uses and the overall redevelopment potential will increase the value of the properties in the corridor, and that there is the possibility of changing the designation of a specific parcel if appropriate.

In other business:

— The city approved an agreement with the DeKalb Community Service Committee to provide a dedicated social worker to address the needs of Tucker residents who are unhoused or in crisis, for a cost of $32,000 per year. The social worker will have an office in Tucker’s city hall and will be available 20 hours a week.

Councilmember Cara Schroeder said that she would like to review outcomes in six to nine months. The contract is for a year, after which it can be renewed or modified.

— The council approved a revision to regulations governing adult entertainment establishments.

The revision will allow adult entertainment businesses in M-2 (heavy industrial) zoning districts, while prohibiting them in M (light industrial) and C-2 (general commercial) districts. The required lot size and distance between adult businesses will be reduced.

— The city plans to reach an intergovernmental agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for lighting at the Mountain Industrial Boulevard and US 78 interchange. That intersection currently has the highest number of automobile crashes in Tucker, and improvements are in the design process.

— The city adopted an updated version of the DeKalb Office of Emergency Management’s hazard mitigation plan. This will allow Tucker to apply for funds and receive other support from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the purpose of planning in advance of disasters and mitigation afterward.

— The city conducted a first read and public hearing for changes to the Special Land Use Permit ordinance which will mean that SLUPs will not automatically expire without a hearing or option for a hearing, and that they will be transferable to successive owners of a property.

— Tucker’s Public Works department presented a plan that would allow neighborhoods to both request and approve traffic-calming measures via petition.

— The city awarded two landscaping contracts to Visonscapes, Inc. one in the amount of $67,754 for landscaping the median of Juliette Road, and the other in the amount of $77,991 for landscaping along both sides of Fellowship Road.

— The city discussed a contract to design a roundabout at the intersection of Fellowship Road and Idlewood Road to Kimley Horn in the amount of $188,615. After a lengthy discussion which circled around whether to address five proposed traffic improvement projects as a whole or one at a time, the council approved the contract 4 to 2.

— The council approved a task order to inspect and clean stormwater conduits with a budget not to exceed $92,448. The work will be carried out by Materials & Metals Engineers, LLC.

— The council approved a task order for stormwater ditch restoration at 1590 Lilburn Stone Mountain Road. The order in the amount of $38,538 will be carried out by Utility Asset Management, Inc.

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