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Town OKs rezoning

Residents in the area of West Main Street and Magnox Drive will be able to literally run to the store for necessities if a Pulaski woman follows through with plans for a convenience store.
Pulaski Town Council strayed from a planning commission recommendation Tuesday night and voted to rezone property at 206 Magnox Drive from Residential Office (RO) to Central Business District (B-3).
The action will allow Bishop Judy D. Johnson to open a “small country store” in a building that once was a store serving the West Main Street area. Johnson said it was used for a church from 1982 to 2006. Her husband died in 2008 and “I want something to do besides sit at home.”
Rather than rezone the property, Pulaski Planning Commission recommended the proposed store be allowed as a special exception under the existing zoning so special conditions could be imposed “to protect the residential areas.”
Henry Street resident Clark Payne said Tuesday he isn’t opposed to Johnson’s store, but he would prefer the special exception because it would allow the town to control activity on the property when the store is no longer in operation.
Payne said that area is “gravitating back” to a residential area and should Johnson’s business fail, a rezone would leave the property open to use as any type of business. He also said that area is “known to be a haven” for drug activity and people congregating.
Johnson said there are properties zoned B-3 on all sides of her property now. “I don’t see why anyone would want to stop something from happening for the other people in the neighborhood. She said it would “just be a small country grocery store” in which cigarettes and alcohol will not be sold.
“I’m not about drugs and alcohol,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to win souls to God, not sell them to hell.”
She said she would do anything she could to stop drugs in the community if she knew what to do.
“I want something to do with the rest of my life before I go home,” she added.
Evangelist Charlene Harrington agreed with Johnson.
Councilman Morgan Welker made the motion to approve the rezone, noting that there are a number of commercial buildings in the area already. At a time when people are trying to conserve energy, he said he thinks having a store residents of the area could walk to would be a good thing.
Right now the building in question is vacant and “derelict.” Welker said he thinks having an active business there will actually reduce the likelihood of people “hanging out” and selling or doing drugs there.
Councilman Robert Bopp agreed. “I think it’s an excellent place for a little store and it’ll be good for that community and area,” he said.
Council voted 5-0-1 to approve the rezone. Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. was absent Tuesday night.

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Town OKs rezoning

Residents in the area of West Main Street and Magnox Drive will be able to literally run to the store for necessities if a Pulaski woman follows through with plans for a convenience store.
Pulaski Town Council strayed from a planning commission recommendation Tuesday night and voted to rezone property at 206 Magnox Drive from Residential Office (RO) to Central Business District (B-3).
The action will allow Bishop Judy D. Johnson to open a “small country store” in a building that once was a store serving the West Main Street area. Johnson said it was used for a church from 1982 to 2006. Her husband died in 2008 and “I want something to do besides sit at home.”
Rather than rezone the property, Pulaski Planning Commission recommended the proposed store be allowed as a special exception under the existing zoning so special conditions could be imposed “to protect the residential areas.”
Henry Street resident Clark Payne said Tuesday he isn’t opposed to Johnson’s store, but he would prefer the special exception because it would allow the town to control activity on the property when the store is no longer in operation.
Payne said that area is “gravitating back” to a residential area and should Johnson’s business fail, a rezone would leave the property open to use as any type of business. He also said that area is “known to be a haven” for drug activity and people congregating.
Johnson said there are properties zoned B-3 on all sides of her property now. “I don’t see why anyone would want to stop something from happening for the other people in the neighborhood. She said it would “just be a small country grocery store” in which cigarettes and alcohol will not be sold.
“I’m not about drugs and alcohol,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to win souls to God, not sell them to hell.”
She said she would do anything she could to stop drugs in the community if she knew what to do.
“I want something to do with the rest of my life before I go home,” she added.
Evangelist Charlene Harrington agreed with Johnson.
Councilman Morgan Welker made the motion to approve the rezone, noting that there are a number of commercial buildings in the area already. At a time when people are trying to conserve energy, he said he thinks having a store residents of the area could walk to would be a good thing.
Right now the building in question is vacant and “derelict.” Welker said he thinks having an active business there will actually reduce the likelihood of people “hanging out” and selling or doing drugs there.
Councilman Robert Bopp agreed. “I think it’s an excellent place for a little store and it’ll be good for that community and area,” he said.
Council voted 5-0-1 to approve the rezone. Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. was absent Tuesday night.

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