Conyers City Councilman John Fountain

CONYERS In an effort to compromise and accommodate the needs of a good member of the community, the Conyers City Council Wednesday revisited the question of how heavy equipment can be displayed outside business buildings in the Gateway Village zoning district.

Councilman John Fountain made a motion to approve an ordinance that would amend the city code to allow outdoor display of utility trailers, which is the primary merchandise for Rockland Cargo Equipment in Gateway Village.

The ordinance would substitute for one that the council voted down in its Feb. 21 meeting. That ordinance, requested by Ronald Ayers, owner of Rockland Cargo, sought to allow the business to display an array of heavy equipment on its lot such as utility trailers, cargo trailers, tow dollies, playground equipment, storage sheds, gazebos, garages and carports.

The city code section that currently regulates Gateway Village district does not allow outdoor display of those items, and in 2004 the city ruled Rockland to be a legal nonconforming business, but has allowed the business to continue displaying its entire range of heavy equipment.

The council, Mayor Randall Mills, City Manager Tony Lucas, Planning and Zoning director Marvin Flanigan and others discussed Ayers Jan. 21 request at length, including addressing it on three different days at the councils annual retreat.

The councils dilemma was summarized by Fountain at the Jan. 21 meeting when he said, On the one hand, youve got this business thats been a good member of the community On the other hand, we have all the challenges that Ayers request would present as a precedent.

No satisfactory resolution could be found and in its Feb. 4 meeting, the council unanimously rejected the Jan. 21 ordinance request.

This ordinance is very different from that one, Fountain said after Wednesdays meeting, because it allows only utility trailers and not all those other items to be displayed outdoors. Were seeking to accommodate their main line of business, utility trailers.

Fountain told the Citizen he came up with the compromise in an a-ha moment.

Original post:
Conyers City Council takes another look at outdoor utility trailer displays

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