City of Stockbridge approves branding initiative

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Stockbridge is looking to improve its brand for the future and also identify important symbols of its past.

Two recommendations from the city’s Main Street program were approved by the City Council at its Sept. 12 regular meeting. The first move is to go forward with a city branding initiative.

A request for proposals will be distributed to solicit the services of qualified marketing firms for that purpose. The budget for this phase of the process should not exceed $25,000. The necessary funds will be moved from the hotel/motel tax account to pay for these services, according to city staff.

The other Main Street recommendation led to the council’s approval of a historic preservation ordinance.

“This will serve as a positive step in the furtherance of Main Street program objectives with regard to establishing a historic preservation ethic in the city of Stockbridge and obtaining Certified Local Government status,” according to a staff report. “This, in turn, will place the city in a better position when applying for both federal and state historic preservation funding, receiving technical assistance, and establishing a historic district.”

The new ordinance calls for the creation of a five-member historic preservation commission, to maintain inventory of city property and recommend to the council certain locations and structures to eventually be designated as historic. The ordinance also sets a number of specific guidelines for designating historic districts and historic properties.

Other details involve requiring certificates of appropriateness for any proposed changes in appearance on designated historic properties, and code provisions regarding the maintenance of such properties.

In other city business, the council approved proposed amenities for the Red Oak Village development, a 20-acre site on the east side of Rock Quarry Road at Red Oak Drive. It was annexed into the city in June of 2015 and rezoned from county M-1 (light manufacturing) to city M-1 and RM-1 (multi-family residential). The annexation and rezoning came with a number of conditions, including a requirement that it be developed as a 62-older community in accordance with the Fair Housing Act.

A city-initiated zoning reversion from C-2 (general commercial) to RA (residential agricultural) Old Conyers Road, with two single-family residential parcels and one site slated for a bed and breakfast. Immediately upon the resolution of that item, the bed-and-breakfast lot was rezoned to C-3 (heavy commercial). A variance request for that site was tabled until the Sept. 27 workshop meeting.