P&Z denies overnight bikini bar, clarifies aim of new Pleasant Hill community center


Liz Fabian

The owner of Millennium Bar & Grill wanted to add bikini-clad dancers at 2455 Emery highway, just down the street from X-Mart Adult Supercenter.

The owner of an eastside restaurant and bar, who wanted to feature bikini-clad dancers overnight, left Monday’s Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting without a chance of that happening.

Commissioners denied Regina Smith’s conditional use application for live entertainment until 5 a.m. at the Millennium Bar and Grill at 2455 Emery Highway.

Having on-stage dancers would reclassify the establishment as a nightclub under zoning regulations, which would violate 1000-foot distance requirements between it and the neighboring X-Mart Adult Entertainment Center. If commissioners had agreed to the live entertainment, Smith would no longer be able to sell alcohol.

Commissioners also had to consider the effect of the nightclub on neighboring property. In this case, it’s the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park, which is working to become Georgia’s only national park.

“In my opinion, it would have a detrimental effect on the development of the park and that’s the most exciting thing being proposed in my lifetime,” P&Z Commissioner Josh Rogers said.

Zoning Director Randi Doveton agreed an overnight club with live dancing “could definitely impact” the park.

No opioid clinic for Pleasant hill

Commissioners also had plenty of questions for Mya Cullins, a McDonough businesswoman who bought the old Community Church of God at 283 Grant Ave. in Pleasant Hill for a “career community center.”

Cullins’ website originally listed the property as an “opioid serves clinic,” which initially gave commissioners pause due to the additional state requirements for such a facility.

“I do have opioid clinics in Henry and Cobb counties, but that is not what I’m doing at the community center,” Cullins said.

Instead, Cullins explains she was seeking P&Z approval for a community center that would resemble a career center as an incubator for participants to learn various trades, such as operating a nail salon.

She also wants to partner with local universities to bring educational services to children and adolescents, including film production and marketing, she said.

Cullins plans to screen those coming to the center and determine which services best meet their needs.

Because of her relationship with the Georgia Department of Community Health at her opioid clinics, Cullins also purchased some nearby duplexes she hopes will be a haven for those recovering from substance abuse.

“The housing is for giving people a second chance,” Cullins said. “Just to give them hope.”

While she has self-funded her plans to this point, Cullins said she intends to apply for multiple grants and forge partnerships to run the center.

“I have a lot of work to do, so I’m building a team, but I’m sure I can conquer it,” Cullins said. “I have no doubt I’ll get the funding.”

P&Z Commissioner Tim Jones was hopeful Cullins’ future work in Pleasant Hill would put some energy behind efforts to maintain Linwood Cemetery across the street.

“I spent many days at the Community Church of God and I’m glad somebody is trying to do something positive,” Jones said before the commission approved Cullins’ request.

In other business

Commissioners also approved a used auto dealership at 2860 Bloomfield Drive next to the old Wings Café.

The approval was under the condition that owners Jamila and Jason Brown install an 8-foot privacy fence at the rear of the property, which is about to be developed into a cluster of adult homes.

Last May, the commission approved River Edge Foundation’s 26 single-family, senior housing units on nearly 8.5 acres behind what will become the Browns’ car lot.

Commissioners also approved developer Ashok Patel’s design of a new fuel center store at 4987 Bloomfield Road.

Patel plans a 5,200-square-foot-building to house a food mart, gas pumps and a separate retail space.

“We will have some fruits and vegetables but mostly canned goods,” Patel told commissioners.

Last week, P&Z staff recommended approval of several items on Monday’s agenda and commissioners ratified them without debate.

Commissioners approved WJH, Century Complete design plans for new homes in subdivisions that stalled during the recession that began in 2008.

The construction company will be building on 46 lots in the Summer Grove neighborhood at 2475 Heath Road, 94 parcels in Quail Ridge at 3790 Walden Road and 106 lots in the Lochwolde subdivision at 6101 Thomaston Road.

The commission also approved a sign variance for the new Mavis Tires & Brakes in the Tobesofkee Crossing shopping Center at 5591 Thomaston Road near Publix.

The owner of Mathnasium tutoring center got approval to move to North Macon Plaza at 1625 Bass Road, which houses Marshalls and Home Goods. The center is currently operating near the Publix in the Bass Plantation Shopping Center on Bowman Road.

Mathnasium owner Jeff Rucker said the new location is larger and safer for students, according to the application.

Commissioners also approved The Jane Madison Studio of Dance Education’s move to 4725 Northside Drive near the corner of Wesleyan Drive. Madison’s studio teaches a variety of dance genres for ages 3.5 and up.

The P&Z board also approved Terin Smith’s request to open an insurance office in the existing commercial building at 1447 Forsyth St.  

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government entities and can be reached at 478-301-2976.