Planning Commission voted 3-0 to deny request for rezoning.
The City of Kennesaw Planning Commission met Thursday, May 3, 2012 and addressed items A-D in the 2 hour long meeting.
Item D was the request for Rezoning of the Mack Dobbs Properties, LLC to allow the Cruchelow Jewelry and Loan, an admitted Pawn Shop, to remain in the Venturi mall despite it being listed as an excluded type of business per the 2004 restrictions on business types that Venturi agreed to in order to have his property rezoned from residential to business.
Kennesaw Zoning Administrator Mr. Simmons spoke and gave a complete review of both the 2004 City Council decision and summarized the City error in letting the Pawn Shop get a business license. He stated that the Zoning Department did NOT recommend the requested change and asked that the Planning Commission deny the request by Sams/Venturi.
Mr. Sams, the same zoning lawyer representing Venturi in 2004, spoke to 30 minutes but did not manage to explain why he had agreed to exclude Pawn Shops 8 years ago and was suddenly now in favor of them. Mr. Venturi spoke for 3 minutes.
5 people spoke in the public comments section, 4 against the Rezoning Request and 1 in favor.
When I spoke I mentioned that it was understandable that Mr. Venturi would want the shop to remain as he had a 60 month lease with the Cruchelow's and over the 5 years of the lease it would result in rentals of approx. $300,000. I further pointed out that area residents felt that they were being 'stabbed in the back' by this reconsideration of the zoning to allow the Pawn Shop to remain.
Attorney Mr. Sams had earlier mentioned that there was a petition presented to the City with approx 160 names of people in favor of the Pawn Shop remaining. Later Mr. Simmons provided this petition to one of the speakers who were against the shop and both he and I looked at it briefly while other people spoke. We both noted that some of the handwriting seemed similar and also that there were a lot of people listing out of area addresses (Marietta) who would not be impacted by the Pawn Shop.
The vote was taken and it was 3-0 to deny the request for rezoning of the mall to allow Pawn Shops. The next meeting on this topic will be May 16th at 6 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers