By: Jamison Hooks
The Morgan County Planning Commission approved the request from SW Bostwick, LLC to rezone approximately 2.16 acres near the corner of the Athens Highway and Apalachee Road, from Agricultural to General Commercial. This approval will allow for the construction of a Dollar General retail store on the site. Concerns for this addition to Apalachee include loitering and the likelihood of other retail stores moving to the area. The decision to approve this request was met with opposition from lifelong Apalachee resident Faye Jordan. “Apalachee is a farming, family community, I don’t know why commercialism is coming out here to my doorstep. Why doesn’t it stay in town where all the other stores are?” asked Jordan. After considering the benefits and concerns, members of the Planning Commission voted to approve the request to change the 2.16 acres from Agricultural to General Commercial. Secondly, SW Bostwick LLC requested a variance regarding the required umber of parking spots. The current proposed site plan and design includes 33 parking spaces when Morgan County ordinances state that 5 parking spaces are required for every 1,000 square feet. Members of the Planning Commission expressed their concerns with this shortage of parking and discussed the need for 46 parking spots. “In order to grant a variance there needs to be extraordinary and exceptional conditions pertaining to the property because of size, shape or topography and that doesn’t fit here,” said Connie Booth. The second request from SW Bostwick LLC for a variance regarding the number of required parking spaces was denied.