Avado building owner wants to covert to personal care home

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan County Planning Commission will look at a conditional use permit for a congregate personal care home for the Avado Building at 150 Hancock Street during their work session this Friday. Patrick Reams, the applicant, asks for the conditional use permit in order to convert the existing structure to a personal care home, which will house around 70 residents and require approximately 90 part time and full time employees.

According to the staff report, which was prepared by Madison Planner Bryce Jaeck, no changes are proposed for the exterior of the building, but the interior will be converted into residential rooms roughly 400 square feet in size and common areas for dining. Comments included in the report indicate that the personal care home would “provide housing for a growing segment of Madison’s population. According to the report, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) show that Madison’s median age has increased from 37.3 in 2009 to 41.7 in 2012.

The report states that personal care homes are regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) and the Fire Marshall but that the city will not be responsible for enforcement of the DCH codes. The structure was built in 1994 and is a “legally non-conforming structure due to its size and dimensions,” but the report suggests that, since it has been in existence for so long, it will create a minimal impact on the adjacent properties and the natural environment because of the lack of external changes.

The report indicates that the construction of a loading dock may become necessary. If the loading dock becomes necessary, the Historic Preservation Society will have to approve the structural changes because the building lies in Madison’s Historic District. Because of the number of employees that the applicant indicates that he will hire the staff report also states that the company “should provide additional fiscal stability to Madison.” Two suggested conditions of approval were listed in the staff report.

The first is that the Planning Commission allow the construction of a loading dock at a later date without having the applicant to amend his conditional use request. The second recommended condition is that the conditional use permit “expire if construction is not begun within 12 months of approval.” The Planning Commission will have a chance to discuss this application this Friday, April 18, before voting on the matter during their regular meeting on April 24.

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