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The Local Agenda: Drive-thru on Virginia Circle up for review again
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A rezoning request needed for the development of a drive-thru restaurant and small retail outlet at the intersection of Thompson Bridge Road and Virginia Circle will be heard again tonight after changes were made to the proposal.

David Johnson, a local cardiovascular doctor, is asking the city to rezone three properties, two of which have homes on the lots, at the intersection from residential development to neighborhood business.

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board denied the request late last year, heeding concerns from area residents that the commercial development would be too invasive in the local neighborhood.

While the latest proposal includes additional landscaping buffers, and allows for entrance-only access off Virginia Circle, city planning staff is still recommending denial of the rezoning request.

According to staff reports, “The planning staff believes the applicant’s updated concept plan is an improvement over the previous plan but remains inconsistent with (the) future development map of the comprehensive plan.”

Gainesville attorney Steve Gilliam, who represents Johnson, has said his client purchased the property as an investment and his proposal complements other small commercial properties in the area.

The Planning and Appeals Board meets at 5:30 p.m. today in the municipal courtroom of the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.

MLK Day events set for Hall, Gainesville

Martin Luther King Day events in Gainesville and Hall County scheduled for Monday, Jan. 19, will honor the civil rights hero.

A march will begin at 1 p.m. at the SunTrust Bank at 121 E.E. Butler Parkway.

And the Rev. Stephen P. Samuel, senior pastor of St. John Baptist Church, will give the keynote address at 2 p.m. for the King Holiday Observance Program at the Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School, 695 Fair St., Gainesville.

For more information, contact the Newtown Florist Club at 770-718-1343.

Meanwhile, Lanier Islands is teaming up with Goodwill of North Georgia to host a “Give Back” event.

Donations of gently used clothes to SnowWorld on MLK Day will grant you half-price admission.

Finally, Gainesville and Hall County government offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

jsilavent@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/joshuasilavent

@joshuasilavent

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