A proposed mixed-use development was denied 3-1-3 July 16 by the Smyrna City Council.
Opposed were Councilwomen Andrea Blustein and Susan Wilkinson and Councilman Derek Norton.
In favor was Councilwoman Maryline Blackburn with Councilmen Ron Fennel and Corky Welch absent and the Ward 6 seat vacant until the July 24 runoff.
To take the place of Cumberland Community Church, the rezoning from General Commercial to Mixed Use-Conditional would have involved 10.4 acres at 3110 Sports Ave. by JLB Realty, LLC.
The plan called for 325 luxury apartments and retail space, according to the applicant’s attorney Kevin Moore, “a first-class facility to live, work and play.”
Favoring the rezoning, Alan Scott, lead pastor of Cumberland Community Church, said, “We only had two offers similar in price and scope. We think JLB is the best choice.”
Scott said the church has plans to build a new $1.4 million facility on different property and has given $1.8 million to the Smyrna community since 2008 through community improvement projects.
Norton said, “I don’t think there’s any doubt about the admiration for Cumberland Community Church, but we’re here to consider only the zoning. We’ve asked the developer for a mix of uses - to be exciting for Smyrna residents.
“The plan has hardly changed at all. This developer missed the opportunity to make the changes asked by the staff. Residents deserve better,” Norton added.
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