Sheriff’s outreach center thwarts proposed teen rehab as P&Z ponders Forsyth St. revitalization, new house downtown and day care in NW Macon


Liz Fabian

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office will consolidate its Outreach and Restorative Justice Center in the old Macon Rescue Mission. Prodigal Sons & Daughters, of Fairburn, had hoped to use the building for a youth rehabilitation residence.

Plans for a youth addiction rehabilitation home in the old Macon Rescue Mission property near Downtown Macon have been thwarted by the sale of the property to the county.

Although the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission is set to hold a second hearing Monday on the Prodigal Sons & Daughters Redirection Services’ proposal, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis has other plans for the property at 1279 Telfair St., about a block behind the jail.

In January, Macon-Bibb paid $1.1 million for the 20,000 sq. ft. building and five acres of surrounding land to house the sheriff’s new Outreach and Restorative Justice Center.

“It’s really going to be nice and hopefully make an impact on some of the young people in this community,” Davis said Friday.

Last August, Prodigal Sons & Daughters, of Fairburn,  appeared before P&Z for a conditional use of the property they were considering purchasing from the mission.

Due to the nature of the residential facility where addicted youth or those with mental issues or criminal inclinations would live for up to 9 months, the matter had to have a second hearing in at least 6 months and before 9 months.

Zoning director Randi Doveton said the commission has not heard anything else from the applicants since August but is obligated to post the hearing on the agenda.

“We have no intention of partnering with that group,” Davis said.

Instead, the sheriff will gather its outreach programs at the old mission which is being “spruced up” to house those services including the neighborhood watch coordinator and defensive driving simulators by late summer, he said.

Since consolidation, those programs have been scattered around the county.

Liz Fabian
The 800 block of Forsyth Street in Downtown Macon will be restored for new retail and lofts in the historic business center that dates back to the late 1800s.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, P&Z is expected to approve plans for the redevelopment of the 800 block of Forsyth Street up from the H&H Restaurant.

Architect Bob Brown’s plans do not call for radically changing the building facades in the historical business district that dates back to the late 1800s.

The ground floors of the buildings will be developed for future retail with loft apartments going on the second floors.

Liz Fabian
Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning is expected to approve plans for a new house to be built on a vacant lot at 413 New St. in downtown.

Commissioners also are expected to approve a certificate of appropriateness for RDG Ventures for the construction of a new home at 413 New St. on a vacant lot behind the American Cancer Society at the corner of Cherry Street.

The Design Review Board has approved the project providing the landscaping and gable window of the two-story house are similar to other nearby structures and that no shutters be added.

The original approval for the development in 2013 called for houses to be about 1,200 sq. ft. with front and rear porches, block foundations and vinyl clad windows, conditions which the proposed plan generally meets. The staff report states the home’s design “will maintain the rhythm of the streetscape as well as the character of other buildings nearby.”

The commission also will consider plans for two new homes to be built in the Barrington Place planned development at Barrington Hall in northwest Bibb County. Before the economic downturn in 2007 and 2008, plans were approved for five house plans but the new owner wants to make changes to the architectural design and building materials at 570 Barrington Hall Drive and 1128 Barrington Place Way.

At 235 Northwest Pointe Drive in western Bibb County, Dan and Kristine Smith are asking to subdivide two tracts of land so they can secure a loan to build a house on part of their 16 acre parcel.

The commission also is poised to approve a new tin roof on Harrold House of Christ Episcopal Church at 582 Walnut St. and authorize conditional use for a day care center at Stone Edge Church at 5659 Zebulon Road.

Monday’s hearings begin at 1:30 p.m. in Suite 300 of Terminal Station at 200 Cherry St.

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