The Powder Springs City Council is expected tonight to vote on a design review and items related to variances requests to waive setback and overlay district requirements as a hardship. Without the variance, Kirk McCannon would have to tear down the building that has been at the site on Austell-Powder Springs Road for 41 years and start from scratch.
“That would seem to be an unnecessary hardship,” said Pam Conner, the city’s community development director. “We truly believe he meets the hardship standards. It’s not just that he’s been here 41 years.”
The city’s overlay district requires landscaping, but there is nowhere to put that on the current site aside from in the corner near a utility pole.
“The only way he could put it in would be to tear up the parking lot and put in landscape strips and islands,” Conner said.
The fire destroyed about 30 percent of the building, including the three bays where employees worked on cars. It also compromised part of the roof, which McCannon said now will have to be replaced. The new building, which completed, will be about two feet taller than the original structure. It will be made out of stucco and will comply with the city’s neutral color wheel.
“It’ll look uniform with everything else,” McCannon said. “I think when it’s all said and done it will be a nice looking place.”
Conner said the city has received calls from a resident who owns property behind the shop who is concerned about a buffer due to tires and cars on the shop’s property. Conner said the buffer isn’t required on the back but that the lot is heavily wooded.
“There’s a fence now,” McCannon said. “That’s how buffered it is. You can’t even see the fence.”
In order to comply with city regulations, McCannon must get rid of cars parked on the property; however, the records of who most of the cars belonged to also were destroyed in the blaze. The remaining cars were abandoned at the shop, and McCannon said he’s looking for a way to haul them away.
“You all don’t know this, but when you tell people to move things out of their yards, they take it to a shop and ask if they can find out what’s wrong,” McCannon said. “They can’t pay for it, so they just leave it.”
McCannon also agreed to put up a screen on the Sharon Drive side of the property.
Slab is expected to be poured this week, and the project is slated to be completed in three months.
The Powder Springs City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m.