Sonny’s BBQ, larger lofts, new hotel and nightclub seek zoning approval


Liz Fabian

The owner of the Lofts at Zebulon seeks to build larger residential units in the retail space on the ground floor of Building 2 in the mixed-use development in the 5800 block of Zebulon Road where a new Sonny’s BBQ restaurant also is being considered.

The proposed Sonny’s BBQ restaurant at the Lofts at Zebulon will get another hearing Monday afternoon at the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The board also will consider whether to allow six additional high-end residential units in nearly 12,000 sq. ft. of retail space in Building 2 on that same mixed-use complex in the 5800 block of Zebulon Road.

A 2017 conditional use approval was for a density of 11.81 units per acre at the Lofts At Zebulon but this proposed addition will increase that density to 12.11 units per acre, according to the P&Z staff report.

“Due to recent trends in the local marketplace, the owner has determined that it needs larger residential units to attract higher end residential tenants,” according to the application.

Property owner Jim Daws seeks a similar conditional use for his mixed use development at 5429 Bowman Road. Daws wants to add a ground floor, 1,700 sq. ft. residential unit in retail space at the Lofts at Bass II, which is the building closest to Mellow Mushroom.

Liz Fabian
The owner of the Lofts at Bass is seeking approval to convert retail space to a high-end residential unit at 5429 Bowman Road.

The commission approved that project in 2016 with a density of 10.7 units per acre but the proposed change would increase that to 11.11 units per acre.

The staff notes that the addition of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom residential space would be consistent with other development in the area.

Plans for the Sonny’s restaurant on Zebulon hit a snag in a December hearing due to plans for a drive-thru. When the property was rezoned in a contested hearing in 2015, the owner agreed to no fast food restaurants or convenience stores.

The Sonny’s BBQ establishment would have seating for 200 and the contractor projects less than 10 percent of the sales will be placed through the drive-thru.

Special to The Telegraph
A new Sonny’s BBQ proposed for 5801 Zebulon Road will include a covered patio.

P&Z staff noted that the latest proposal that will be considered Monday appears to show the restaurant facing Zebulon Road. That design is a departure from the conceptual plan that called for outparcel businesses to be oriented inward with the parking to the rear and sides of the building to minimize the impact to single-family residents across the street.

Special to the CCJ
A new 93-room hotel is proposed for 3969 River Place Drive off Arkwright Road in North Macon.

Other items on Monday’s agenda include a conditional use application for a new 93-room, 4-story Avid Hotel at 3969 River Place Drive off of Arkwright Road.

Liz Fabian
Heaven Restaurant seeks approval for a nightclub with live entertainment at 3555 Mercer University Drive across from Macon Mall.

Commissioners also will consider whether to allow for a nightclub and live entertainment at Heaven Restaurant at 3555 Mercer University Drive across from Macon Mall.

Liz Fabian
A new alcohol selling convenience store with fuel pumps is proposed for the corner of Mercer University Drive and Log Cabin Road.

A new convenience store with fuel pumps and alcohol sales to go also is proposed for 4320 Mercer University Drive at the corner of Log Cabin Drive.

Conditional use is being sought for a car wash at 4701 Hartley Bridge Drive.

A proposed portable sanitation business is seeking rezoning and conditional use approval for 7450 Hawkinsville Road, the old paintball location not far from the Houston County line. The land is currently for agricultural use but could require a Heavy Industrial District for A-OK Portables & Waste Services to store portable toilets and other waste service equipment.

The staff has signed off on a conditional use for a preschool at Mikado Baptist Church at 6751 Houston Road but the commission has to ratify their recommendation.

They also must give final approval for a covered porch addition at 1073 Ash St. in Beall’s Hill, which was approved by the Design Review Board this week.

Liz Fabian
Emily Elsworth, right, presents to the Design Review Board her plan for a covered porch at 1073 Ash St. in Beall’s Hill near downtown Macon.

The hearings begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday on the third floor of Terminal Station in downtown Macon.

Contact Civic Reporting Senior Fellow Liz Fabian at 478-301-2976 or [email protected].