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Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock said the city "missed the boat" on Popeye's and Burger King due to zoning hurdles

City looks at rezoning

By Michael Butler

The City of Tallassee Planning Commission passed a motion by a 6-1 vote to rezone property in Jordanville from Small Town Mix to General Business. The Tallassee City Council will have the option to approve or deny the proposal.

"We've been working on this for about 14 months," said mayor Johnny Hammock, who serves as a member of the planning commission. "The piece of property where Linda and David Mosher used to live on Jordan Avenue that burned down and is a vacant lot. It has one of the highest traffic counts there. We've talked about making it General Business."

In 2012, the property was considered for rezoning when Louie's Chicken Fingers was looking at the location for its business. Being in the downtown historic district, a General Business classification is required to have a resataurant with a drive-thru.

David Mosher said the location would be "an excellent opportunity to start rebuilding Jordanville," back in 2012. People want a sit-down family restaurant;" however, after public meetings the motion to rezone was denied by the planning commission.

Louie's did come to Tallassee but moved up Gilmer Avenue.

"We've had some interest in the past for that location," Hammock noted. "It has to be rezoned. I don't know if it will be rezoned. It has to have a public hearing. You're talking about a two- to three-month process at least."

Recently, Hammock said he was approached by Popeye's Chicken and Burger King about the lot.

"You tell them that you have to rezone. A lot of them have a budget to do so many in a year. They're like, 'No. I don't want to fool with it. We'll just put one in Shorter, Tuskegee and Wetumpka.' And they did. We missed the boat on that one."

Hammock hopes that future business opportunities do not slip away.

"All of us take that for granted because we all have vehicles and it's easy to go to Super Foods, Dollar General or Walmart and get some milk and cheese and bread. There's a lot of people in Jordanville that don't have transportation. It's kind of a food desert down there. When they're on foot and they don't have a ride, what do they do? They walk over to the Marathon and grocery shopping with chips and candy bars. They don't have a lot of healthy options. That translates to diabetes and heart disease in the future. The citizens of Ward 3 deserve the right to have an option even if it's at a restaurant.

"For years, we have let a handful of people dictate what goes on in this town. I want to make sure we do what right for all of Tallassee not just a few."