What: De-annexation request
Who: Clermont Planning and Zoning Commission
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Clermont Chattahoochee Center, 639 Main St.
When Mark and Valerie Kirves founded Iron Accents in Clermont, they were hoping to bring a bit of the upscale to the country.
They also were hoping that subdivisions around the North Hall County town would spring up as planned, and their home decor business off Cleveland Highway/U.S. 129 would flourish as result.
And then the Great Recession of 2007-09 happened, and the floor fell out from the housing industry.
So now, “we’re considering selling the building,” Mark Kirves said.
The couple is looking to de-annex from Clermont, with a public hearing set for 7 p.m. Tuesday before the Clermont Planning and Zoning Commission. The issue is set to go before the Clermont Town Council, which has final say, for a first reading on April 5.
“We feel like we’re probably going to take a loss on the building,” Mark Kirves said. “We thought if we put it back in Hall County highway business (zoning), maybe it would bring a little more value.
“And if the new owners wanted to, they could annex it back in.”
The issue may sound familiar to Clermont residents, as this is the second time in a year that a business has attempted the rare act of de-annexation, or removal from the town’s boundaries into unincorporated Hall.
Last May, Clermont Town Council voted unanimously to deny Chris Nonnemaker’s request to de-annex from the North Hall town.
At the time, Nonnemaker was seeking to withdraw his 6-acre tract featuring a Papa’s Pizza To-Go restaurant off Cleveland Highway — or less than a third of a mile from Iron Accents — from the town.
His request hit upon a sensitive issue, as plans called for a couple to open a beach-themed restaurant at the site that would serve beer and alcohol.
Clermont bans such sales.
This time around, the economy is the key player.
“If we can’t sell the building ... then what we’re going to do is to continue to run it as a liquidation store,” Mark Kirves said.
“It’s nothing against Clermont — it’s just that there hasn’t really been any benefit to being in Clermont,” he said. “It’s not like you get ... water (service), electric or garbage pickup, and there’s not really much of a community there to support the business.
“Maybe a different business would have a better chance of being supported in that area.”