Decatur will consider overhaul of zoning codes

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 17, 2014
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Commissioners will consider adopting an overhaul of the city’s zoning codes at their meeting tonight, Nov. 17.

Planning staff and commissioners have spent months reviewing, questioning and suggesting the updates for the so-called Unified Development Ordinance. The city released a final draft earlier this month, which you can read by clicking here.

While the city says 95 percent of the ordinance is cleaning up what’s already on the books, there are changes aimed at making buildings more energy efficient and promoting affordable housing. There will be a work session on the ordinance at 6:30 pm followed by the City Commission’s regular meeting at 7:30 pm. The meeting will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.

Tonight commissioners also will consider entering into an intergovernmental agreement between the city and its Downtown Development Authority concerning the purchase of the Scottish Rite property for $1.45 million. The DDA is proposing to issue a bond of $1.8 million to cover the purchase and the costs of financing as well as some “limited improvements” to the property.

In late 2013, the building, located in Oakhurst, was put on the market for $2.1 million.

The DDA will pay off the debt service for the purchase using lease income from the building’s tenants and will hire a company to manage it. As part of the deal, both sides of a lawsuit filed by the Community Center of South Decatur against building owner Progressive Redevelopment Incorporated have agreed to stop the litigation.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Chris Billingsley

    I hope someone will represent the common sense folk and oppose this. I attended at least four, maybe five meetings to express my reservations with what is basically an expansion of local government power, but it’s too cold to attend tonight and the commissioners have already made up their minds. But down the road, when a young couple decides to expand their bungalow and finds out that the extra costs from this ordinance makes staying in Decatur impossible, then someone may ask, “Why the hell didn’t anyone attend that meeting to raise hell about such a ridiculous proposal!”. Wishful thinking.

New Ben Ad
Banner Decaturish 300x250_April
Decaturish_300x250 V. 3
DeKalb_Medical-DMPG-300x250 (1)

Receive the Daily Email DIgest

* = required field