Tucker city council considers new regulations for convenience stores

Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — The city of Tucker held a first read and public comment session for a change in zoning ordinances related to convenience stores at its regular meeting on Oct. 10. The city passed a moratorium on new convenience stores in July to consider changes to the city code.

Tucker Community Development Director Courtney Smith stated that the city had seen an influx of new convenience store permit requests and that the city had seen a rise in crime associated with convenience stores. Smith also said that under current regulations convenience stores did not address the lack of fresh food in areas considered food deserts. The new changes to the city code are intended to address those concerns.

A prohibition on gambling machines and a requirement for video surveillance cameras at gas stations were passed at the city council’s regular meeting in September.

The new zoning revision includes changing the zones in which convenience stores are allowed, defining the difference between a convenience store and a grocery store, and requiring convenience stores to devote at least ten percent of their floor to fresh or prepared foods. In addition, a new convenience store cannot be built within 1000 feet of an existing one.

In other business:

— First reads, and public comments were also held for a proposed rezoning of properties at 1220 and 1250 Richardson Street.

In 2021, the city initiated a process of rezoning eight properties in the Juliette Road/Richardson Street corridor from light industrial to small lot residential mix. Six of the properties were rezoned in April 2022. The two properties on Richardson Street were deferred to allow the property owner time to make pre-planned changes and apply for a land disturbing permit. If the owner completes the process and construction in a timely manner, that use will be allowed; otherwise the property will convert to the new zoning automatically.

— The city council adopted an official calendar for next year, which includes all the Federal holidays plus Christmas Eve and the day after Thanksgiving. Columbus Day received an additional designation as Indigenous People’s Day.

— The city approved contracts for preservation and improvements at Johns Homestead Park, new signs for seven other city parks, and a revision to the Cooledge Road sidewalk construction project.

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