A local group home owner wants to rezone her recently purchased property near Decatur's southern edge so she can use it as an office and event center for the intellectually disabled, but the Planning Commission rejected her request Tuesday because they said it was inconsistent with the uses of neighboring properties.
Yvette Fuller asked the Planning Commission to rezone her property at 1210 Mill Road S.E. from R-3, single family residential, to B-6, office district. However, the commission voted unanimously not to recommend the change.
Fuller grew up in the neighborhood and said she wants to add the business there to help restore it.
“That area has become an eyesore,” Fuller said.
Fuller, a nurse, owns four group homes in Decatur and two in Madison. She said four or five employees, some of whom are also nurses, would work at her planned business on Mill Road.
She said she bought the two properties that are just over 1 acre with the intention of adding an office for herself and an event center where her group home clients could entertain themselves. The property is near the former Wallace Center on U.S. 31.
“Pre-COVID, our residents were very active but now, with COVID, they need some place to go for entertainment,” Fuller said.
Planning Commission Chairman Kent Lawrence said a B-6 would not fit Lawrence’s request.
“A B-6 zone wouldn’t allow both an office and an event center,” Lawrence said.
But Lawrence said the main reason for not approving the request is it would create a spot zone, which occurs when the use of a parcel of land is different from the surrounding properties in that zone.
“If it were closer to the B-2 nearby, we would probably look at it differently,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said Fuller could seek a variance from the Board of Zoning Adjustments, but typically it would only allow a home office with little to no client traffic.
He told Fuller she can still appeal to the City Council. Matthew Marquis of the Planning Department said she needs to notify him if she plans to follow through with an appeal so he can get her on the council agenda and advertise her plan to appeal.
Fuller said afterward she wanted to talk to her husband first about an appeal, but she bought the property with the intent of adding this business so she likely will appeal.