Update, Jan. 19: A store featuring products reflecting faiths ranging “from Christianity to Buddhism” was approved by Gainesville City Council Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Update, Dec. 8: A store featuring products reflecting faiths ranging “from Christianity to Buddhism” got the blessing of the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
The board voted to recommend approval of Jennifer Walter’s request to allow for the 2,500-square-foot business at 522 S. Enota Drive NE. The property, which once housed counseling and chiropractic offices, is now zoned office/institutional, with Walter seeking a neighborhood business classification.
“It is my intention to maintain the integrity of this beautiful building,” she told the planning board.
Walter, owner of Cosmic Fox Trading Co., is moving her business from 950 Washington St., but does not yet have a certificate of occupancy or business license, according to a city of Gainesville planning staff report.
The planning board’s recommendation now goes to the Gainesville City Council for a final vote on Jan. 19.
Original story: A “spiritually themed goods and literature” store is proposed in a Gainesville building that once housed a counseling office and chiropractor’s practice.
Jennifer Walter, owner of Cosmic Fox Trading Co., is seeking a rezoning from the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board to allow for the 2,500-square-foot business at 522 S. Enota Drive NE. The property is now zoned office/institutional and she is seeking a neighborhood business classification.
Walter is moving her business from 950 Washington St., but does not yet have a certificate of occupancy or business license, according to a city of Gainesville planning staff report.
“It is an absolute honor to be considered for the opportunity of making this magnificent historic building the forever home of Cosmic Fox Trading Co.,” she said in an email Friday, Dec. 4, to The Times. “I am humbled to be here. With great optimism, I foresee my presence in the community as a lifelong labor of love and for that, I am thankful.”
What: Rezoning to allow for Cosmic Fox Trading Co., a “spiritually themed goods and literature” store, at 522 S. Enota Drive
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8
Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway
A letter in the report states that the store’s products reflect faiths ranging “from Christianity to Buddhism.”
“All products … are pure in nature and … support the spiritual growth and well-being of our great community for all who wish to shop with us.”
In an interview with The Times in 2019, Walter said her father’s death in March 2018 made her take stock of her life.
“I wanted to do something that would truly make me happy,” she said. “I questioned the meaning of life and mortality. It started pointing me in the direction of making some huge changes.”
Walter left Verizon Wireless after working at the company for 19 years and shut down her online store.
Her proposal has been met with disapproval from Dr. Bill Morrison of Gainesville Vision Clinic at nearby 1201 Sherwood Park Drive NE.
In a November letter to the planning board, he asks members to recommend denial of the rezoning application.
“The original intent of the Gainesville Unified Land Development Code is to keep this area (office and institutional) and not commercial,” Morrison said. “... We have been in this district since 1982 and certainly don’t want it to become commercialized.”
The city planning staff is recommending approval based on the property being “limited to the proposed retail use,” the staff report says.
The planning board’s recommendation would go to the Gainesville City Council for a later vote.