Bowling alley project in Georgia moves forward after zoning change approval

Moultrie council OKs zoning change, clears way for bowling alley

bowlingMOULTRIE, Ga. — It’s been many years since Moultrie’s only bowling alley closed, but a zoning decision that city council made Tuesday night helps move a developer closer to building a new one.

Scotty Pierce asked the council to rezone 0.33 acres at 102 WMTM Road from R-3 (Multi Family Residential District) to C-3 (Commercial District), but his request met with some opposition from a neighbor.

The property is located just off Quitman Highway, behind the new Marco’s Pizza restaurant. It’s bordered to the south and west by commercial properties and to the north and east by other residences, according to Daniel Parrish, city planning director.

Parrish said Pierce proposes to put in a bowling alley, but his architect is still tweaking the exact plans.

The neighbor at 103 WMTM Road, Sandra Cobb, said she’d had a confrontation with Pierce in the past when he put a pile of dirt on his property that caused rainwater to flood her yard. She said Pierce wouldn’t do anything about the dirt, she didn’t have the resources to fight him and she still has problems with runoff because of it.

Marco’s Pizza has a retention pond to handle runoff, and Parrish said plans call for that pond to be enlarged to draw water from the bowling alley property when it’s built. Therefore, City Councilman Daniel Dunn said, Pierce’s construction might actually help Cobb’s water problem.

Cobb also expressed concern for the safety of her hearing-impaired grandson if the bowling alley increases traffic in the area.

Parrish said all commercial properties are required to have a 6-foot fence and a 20-foot buffer of vegetation between them and adjacent residential property.

Cobb also raised other issues in her neighborhood, including conditions on Doug Turner Drive and Southeast Central Avenue, short streets that intersect WMTM Road. She said residents there erect a tarpaulin, put a door in it and live in it.

Pierce spoke graciously of Cobb’s right to speak her mind in opposition to his project, then agreed with her description of the problems down the street. He said the residents there are “very transitional.”

“We’ve got people coming in doing just what she said,” he told the council, “and we never see them again.”

He also told the council that WMTM Road needs paving.

Dunn moved to approve the rezoning application, seconded by Councilman Cecil Barber. The council approved it 4-2. In opposition were Councilwomen Susie Magwood-Thomas and Lisa Clark Hill. Hill told the council she wasn’t opposed to the rezoning, but she thought the issue should be tabled while the council investigated the conditions that Cobb described.

City Manager Pete Dillard told Cobb that he would visit the area she described to see what the city’s code enforcement and public works departments could do to make it better.


Source: The Moultrie Observer

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