A zoning request for an addition to an apartment complex seems to be causing quite a stir in Grovetown.
Larry Jenkins says he wants to add buildings to Sycamore Place Apartments off Newmantown Road. A permit allowing him to do so was approved, but it was rescinded 16 days later after city officials discovered Jenkins had not met the minimum square-footage requirements to build there, according to a city ordinance passed in 1976.
Jenkins built six buildings on the property in the mid-1980s and a seventh building in 2000 on lots varying in range from 5,400 to more than 11,000 square feet, he told Grovetown City Council members at Monday's meeting.
If his request for a building permit is not approved, he says he'll sue the city.
"I hate to do it, but if I don't get approval, I'm getting an attorney tomorrow," Jenkins told city council members at the meeting.
Grovetown Planning and Zoning Director Dick Taylor, who took over the position late last year, said he mistakenly issued a permit in late June, not realizing Jenkins had not met the 24,000-square-foot building requirement. Taylor said he does not know how Jenkins' previous seven buildings were approved with no questions asked.
"He's got half the space he's supposed to have," Taylor said. "... Since 1976, there has been an allowance that shouldn't have been allowed from what it appears," Taylor said. "I am following the ordinance to a T. I'm learning here, and I'm not going to make a mistake knowingly."
Jenkins argued at the meeting that the seven previous buildings allowed on the property are precedents that should be extended to his current project. But Taylor said he's just following the rules set in the city's Planning and Zoning ordinance.
"I'm trying to run this office in a professional manner and uphold these city ordinances as they are written. I see no reason why I shouldn't," Taylor said.
On Thursday, Jenkins took the issue to the city's Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, who denied a variance to approve the permit. Mayor Dennis Trudeau informed Jenkins of his one remaining option.
"According to our ordinance, once the Board of Appeals denies the request, the next step is to Superior Court," Trudeau said.
As of the end of the week, City Clerk Shirley Beasley said she had not been informed of a filed lawsuit in the case.
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