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The Local Agenda: Gainesville City Council to weigh Lanier Ave. rezoning

POSTED: December 30, 2013 11:30 p.m.

Gainesville City Council members will hold their first work session of the new year Thursday. It’s a short agenda, most notably including a public hearing for a rezoning on Lanier Avenue.

Landowner Michael Slate has requested permission to rezone the property; The Times has previously reported Slate plans to convert the single-family home into an office. Slate had made the same request in 2013 but was denied by the council. The council now includes a new member, Sam Couvillon, representing Ward 1, and a mayor, Danny Dunagan, who only votes to break a tie.

Also at the meeting, council members will address the drug-free workplace policy as well as two projects: awarding a contract for a software system to track fiscal year 2014 records and the design for a utilities relocation on Athens Highway.

Also being reviewed are five restaurants applying for alcoholic beverage licenses, including Avocados Restaurants, Bluefin Hibachi & Sushi, El Rodeo Restaurant, Kroger at 1931 Jesse Jewell Parkway and Rio Balsas.

The work session begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Bill William’s Conference Room in the city’s Administration Building, 300 Henry Ward Way.

Flowery Branch to hear about redevelopment

Flowery Branch City Council members will hear a marketing analysis and redevelopment plan Thursday night for the city’s historic and commercial gateway district.

The council heard a draft at its Dec. 5 meeting, which allowed a window for further input.

The final redevelopment plan is expected to address not only retail opportunities for Main Street and the future Pine Street extension, but recommends future residential use of the former Mooney Manufacturing site next to the Antebellum restaurant on Main Street.

A shortage of downtown parking also has been addressed; a passive park, public plaza and enhancements of city-owned property along Lake Lanier also are noted. Other ideas include the extension of Lights Ferry Road between McEver Road and Atlanta Highway, as well as a roundabout and more formal city “gateway” on Mitchell Street.

A new government center consolidating city services is planned along Railroad Avenue. Locating it parallel to Atlanta Highway would open space along Main Street for additional retail shops and lend visibility to the Old Town district.

Underpinning it all is a much-needed reworking of the city’s sewer and stormwater system. Plans, including a study and cost projections, have been completed.

The Thursday meeting will be at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 5517 Main St., Flowery Branch.

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