The Union Recorder

Local News

April 24, 2013

City mulling restricted historic district zoning


A recent Milledgeville City Council meeting applied a moratorium on special use zoning requests within the historic district. City Planning & Zoning is considering an ordinance adjustment limiting Greek house special use requests to a certain downtown area.

The current ordinance says the applicant can apply for a group residence with more than three unrelated people living together anywhere inside the single-family historic district.

Zoning administrator Mervin Graham wanted more direction from council in Tuesday's work session. She suggested limiting requests to a smaller area named by streets.

Mayor Richard Bentley said the ordinance limiting unrelated persons within the single-family district originally came about to protect the historic areas.

“I think the idea that we are trying to do is designate an area, though we are still going to have to consider a special fraternity or sorority house use, where we have them restricted. In other words, we would not consider them on Liberty Street,” Bentley said. 

City attorney Jimmy Jordan said the ordinance doesn't require any rezoning.

“We would simply be shrinking the area to which you could have a group residence,” Jordan said. “Instead of covering the entire historic district, it would cover whatever strip council wants.”

The area tossed around Tuesday included seven total blocks. Council is considering the blocks in front of Montgomery bounded by North Columbia and North Clarke Streets, as well as four blocks by North Jackson, West Hancock, South Clarke and West Montgomery.

Bentley said the discussed special use area already covers housing blocks near residences granted group use. According to the mayor, the city is trying to create an area for the absence of a Greek Village.

Steve Chambers, District 6, warned this wouldn't turn into a wild college party area.

“We would only consider the special use,” Chambers said. “It is in no way form or fashion going to make this party central or have a free for all as far as fraternities, sororities or big group homes.”

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