May 6, 2021–9:32 p.m.
The Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission is recommending denial of a rezoning request for several properties on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Gibbons Street.
One of the applicants, Patrick Cash, spoke in favor of the zoning change that would allow for the construction of a 36-unit apartment building.
He said it would address Rome’s need for more housing.
“What this project proposes is multi-family, density, and it’s an infill project,” Cash said. “For a lot of us, an infill project is kind of thinking outside the box. Rome is not known for that. This project offers all of that. I feel that I am answering the challenge and I’ve answered the questions for what Rome, the commission, and the city is wanting.”
Planning staff recommended denial due to concerns that the development alters the character of the Five Points area and is of inappropriate size and scale.
Nearby residents who spoke, like Iris Kinnebrew, agreed with that assessment.
“The building itself is not fit for the area,” Kinnebrew said. “There are no three-story buildings in this area. Even though you’re looking for someplace for housing, 36 units on 1.6 acres, to me, is too packed.”
The Rome City Commission will have the final say on the application.
A First Reading will be conducted on May 10 and a Public Hearing will be held on May 24.
In other action:
The planning commission is recommending approval of a rezoning request for what is known as a “wet deck” on Turners Bend Road.
A ‘wet deck’ is a storage facility where timber cut during the dry times of the year can be stored for the paper mill if they need it during the wet times of the year, when timber is more difficult to cut.
Attorney Brandon Bowen spoke on behalf of Georgia Pacific during the meeting.
“We would truck timber to the site, it would be stacked, and there would be a place to weigh the timber as it comes onto the site,” Bowen said. “Then, there would be some wells for irrigation ponds and some sprinklers to keep it wet, and that’s really all it is.”
A number of residents of the area spoke in opposition.
Ken Parker expressed concerns about log trucks on Turners Bend Road.
“Simply, from a traffic standpoint and a safety concern, we do not need to be using Turners Bend, period.” Parker said.
The Floyd County Commission will have the final say on the rezoning.
They will conduct a First Reading on May 11 and a Public Hearing on May 25