Super Fun Safari owners, Scott and Mandy Batchelor, were given the go ahead to proceed with opening a state licensed child care center on their property which currently houses a children’s special event venue, when the county commissioners approved the rezoning at last week’s meeting. The property, located at 745 West Moore’s Crossing, was originally zoned M-1 (Manufacturing Light) and now will be listed as C-2 (Commercial General Highway).
During his report on the issue, Upson County Planning and Zoning Director Doug Currier told the board he had some concerns about re-zoning the property since it is surrounded on all sides by land that is zoned either M-1 or M-2. He noted the M-2 zoning is reserved for the most intense forms of manufacturing zoning which generally causes the most type of interference with surrounding areas.
The surrounding properties are currently pasture land, a closed cement plant and a business office. Currier stated he felt that a business of this type is needed in the community, but did not think this was the best spot given the zoning of the surrounding properties. He did not want future use of the surrounding land to interfere with the existing business, nor for the business being located there to discourage manufacturing use of the other parcels. However, he said the property did meet all the requirements of C-2 zoning and while the staff recommendation was denial, the Planning Commission recommended approval with a 2-1 vote.
Scott Batchelor told the board for the past 10 years he has been paying C-2 property taxes because that is what the Tax Assessors office has the property listed as. He noted they are just trying to serve the community by expanding their business to include a child care center on the property.
“What we are trying to do is something for the community. We are taking in impoverished kids to an after-school day camp. We are trying to provide a solution for latch-key kids, give them somewhere to go,” said Batchelor. “Of course we are going for a full state license and we are pretty excited about it.”
County Commissioner Ralph Ellington made a motion for the board to approve the rezoning of the property.
“I make a motion we accept and change the zoning on it (the property),” said Ellington. “This is an M-1 area, but everything around it is farm land, except the old concrete plant which has been 10 years empty. These folks have got a good plan going, I’ve been out there several times and looked around. I think it would be an asset to the county and to the community.”
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Steve Hudson and passed with a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Lorenzo Wilder was not present at the meeting.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1