Far East Side Rezoning Clears First Hurdle

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Members of Athens City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night on the first reading of an amendment to an ordinance that would re-zone an area of the Far East Side.

Councilmember Michele Papai (D-3rd Ward) says the amendment allows owners of five undeveloped parcels to maintain the current zoning, allowing them to build duplexes in the future.

If the ordinance passes, the remainder of the area between East State Street and Jacobs Street will be zoned for single-family homes.

Residents in the area have asked for the zoning change to prevent new duplexes, or two-family homes, from being built.

"It began because of some multi-family development that occurred several years ago that pulled the neighborhood together to look at their current zoning and what improvements they felt as owners and people who reside in that neighborhood that they felt they wanted to see happen," Papai said.

Existing duplexes wouldn't be affected, but if they were demolished or burned down, owners would have to ask the city to rebuild.

It was the first reading for the amended ordinance.

City council will hear a second reading of the ordinance in two weeks at their next full council meeting, February 5.