Douglasville may be getting a Jason’s Deli on Chapel Hill Road.

The Douglas County Planning and Zoning Board and Board of Commissioners unanimously signed off at a joint meeting in May on rezoning two lots at Chapel Hill Road and Forest Trail between the Target and Aldi shopping centers.

The rezoning changed the zoning from office industrial low (OI-L) and residential low density (R-LD) to heavy commercial (C-H) for the lots at 2976 Chapel Hill Road and 4817 Forest Trail. The Future Land Use Map was also amended from neighborhood village center (NVC) to community village center (CVC) for the lots.

The changes were made for a planned commercial building for retail and restaurants.

An office building that houses Arbor Place Dental and other businesses sits on the Chapel Hill lot, and a house is on the lot on Forest Trail.

Douglas County Planning and Zoning Director Tracy Rye said both the office building and house would be torn down as part of plans submitted by the developer, Caliber Capital.

The new shopping center that would be constructed would be “more oriented towards Chapel Hill Road,” Rye said.

“Their site plan showed 4,500 square feet of restaurant space, two 1,800-square foot retail units and then another 4,500 square foot retail unit,” Rye said.

David White represented the developer at the joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board and BOC in May, according to the meeting minutes. White said at the May meeting Jason’s Deli and AT&T are two tenants planned for the development but that he was not sure if either Jason’s or AT&T had signed leases yet.

White said at the meeting the office building has been in economic disrepair for some time. He said the move to heavy commercial would allow a drive-through in the shopping center.

White said the drive-through will bring additional rents for the building, and retail will be substantially more rent than the current office that is there now. The new building will be a smaller building than what’s there now and will be oriented to where traffic is now, White said.

Before the vote to rezone the property, Planning and Zoning Board Vice Chairman Ricky Roland expressed concerns about what would happen to the property if the development fell through, pointing out that zoning was changed for a bank near the proposed shopping center, and when the bank pulled out, a psychic moved into a house on the property.

“We failed those citizens around there,” Roland said. "I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure we don’t fail those citizens again.”

Rye told Roland psychics, palm readers and other businesses of that nature are no longer allowed in Douglas County’s Unified Development Code.

And White assured the board Caliber doesn’t “deal with psychics or tenants like that.”

Plans approved show the current ingress to the building that’s shared with the Aldi will remain on Chapel Hill Road and that the entrance on Forest Trail will also remain.

The new shopping center would have access to the Aldi parking lot, something that doesn’t exist now with the existing office building.

County Commissioners Henry Mitchell, Ann Jones Guider and Mike Mulcare all expressed concerns about other businesses that might be undesirable being located on the property.

The boards agreed the county will not allow businesses including auto sales, gas stations, pawn shops, auto repair shops, car washes or tattoo parlors on the property before approving the motions to rezone and amend the Future Land Use Map.

Rye said the next step is for the developer to present a site plan for the new building for approval at which point a site development permit would be issued. After that, construction could begin. She said no timetable has been given by the developer.

Rye said she’s excited at the possibility of adding Jason’s Deli and other retail shops just down the street from where another high-end sandwich shop, Panera Bread, is being constructed in the old Joe’s Crab Shack building on Chapel Hill Road.

“Panera has a campaign right now — eat clean,” Rye said. “Jason’s always had good quality food, the ones that I’ve been to. Both of those are continuing a positive trend for both the county and the city.”

Contact Ron Daniel by email at ron@douglascountysentinel.com.

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