A local contractor could have an uphill battle trying to get approval to put a liquor store in the old Greyhound bus station at 71 Spring St.
Caption
A local contractor could have an uphill battle trying to get approval to put a liquor store in the old Greyhound bus station at 71 Spring St.
Credit: Liz Fabian

There are new plans to put a liquor store in the old Greyhound bus station near the corner of Spring Street and Riverside Drive.

Macon-based Goldstone General Contractors is seeking Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning approval to alter the 1970’s era gold brick building at 71 Spring Street next to Checker’s.

According to the application, the decorative curved brick wall along Spring Street would be removed and the building entrance would face the parking lot, not the road.

New walls would be erected, including a glass front with doors that would encase space under the overhang and sidewalk along the old bus bay for loading and unloading passengers.

Because the building is located in the Central Business District, it required a design review of the changes.

The Design Review Board met Monday to consider issuing a Certificate of Appropriateness for the wall demolition, but deferred the item until they could receive more information from the applicant, Venkat Sanjeev, whose group has purchased the property.

The front of the proposed liquor store would face the old bus parking spaces on the side of the building. The curved brick wall would be demolished.
Caption
The front of the proposed liquor store would face the old bus parking spaces on the side of the building. The curved brick wall would be demolished.
Credit: Liz Fabian

The site is less than two-tenths of a mile from the Cherio liquor store at 194 Spring St., which could raise the eyebrows of some Macon-Bibb County commissioners who are working to dilute the presence of alcohol-selling businesses in saturated neighborhoods.

There’s an even bigger hurdle for Sanjeev’s proposal – the old bus station property is within 100 yards of the New City Church, which ironically used to be a nightclub.

Under Georgia law, alcohol licenses cannot be issued for a business that close to a church.

The application will be the first heard Monday by the planning and zoning commission which will be meeting online beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Those wishing to address the commission should register at mbpz.org to receive access credentials by email on the day of the hearing.

Monday, commissioners also will hear a request for a rehearing for 1055 Walnut St. where Aaron Retter wants rezoning to allow four residential units in the building.

Current zoning of Historic Residential only allows three units.

Retter has submitted evidence of a six-unit building down the street at 1071 Walnut St., but staff has indicated there are no zoning records showing approval for that multi-family use. That property does meet the minimum size required for six units in the Historic Residential Zone.

On June 22, the commission denied the request to rezone to Historic Planned District after the InTown Macon neighborhood association objected.

Commissioners approved three units for the property under its current zoning.

Neighbors claimed there were no properties on the block with more than three units.

Association president Greg Fisher said: “We don’t want it to be the first property on the street to be multi-family.”

The rehearing application notes Fisher’s argument is “inconsistent with the reality of the area,” which is a block off Riverside Drive.

If approved, the rehearing would be placed on the Sept. 28 agenda.

During Monday’s meeting, the commission is expected to approve exterior modifications to a house built in 2011 at 1342 Ross St. in Beall’s Hill.

Brandon Meredith wants to add a driveway from Ross St. Lane, build a carport, enlarge the deck and extend the roof to cover it. The application also asks for a black metal fence and handicap ramp.

Staff also recommends approval for the Macon Rescue Mission to operate a furniture refinishing and repair business at 6601 Zebulon Road.

The mission would sell the items from the location while giving residents a therapy outlet and training in valuable work skills.

When the property was the Hepzibah Children’s Home, P&Z approved conditional use to market two proposed outparcels for retail and office space.

The staff recommends approval based on that prior decision and the size of the property.