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Catoosa County commissioners deny wrestler Paul Lee’s zoning request to build storage units

September 19, 2018

Catoosa County commissioners denied a zoning request from local businessman and pro wrestler Paul Lee Tuesday night, Sept. 18, halting his plan to build a storage facility along U.S. Highway 41.

Lee’s request included rezoning a parcel of land at the corner of U.S. 41 and Dogwood Lane as commercial so that he could erect a storage facility there.

Prior to Tuesday night (Sept. 18), Zoning Director Jason Davis said the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied the request last month.

“The Planning Commission first met in regards to the case on June 26 and tabled the request due to the fact that Mr. Lee didn’t have a detailed site plan,” Davis explained. “Mr. Lee did present his case again to the Planning Commission at the Aug. 28 meeting. At the meeting, Mr. Lee presented two separate site plans to the commission and after hearing the case and reviewing the site plan, the Planning Commission chose to deny the case with a vote of 5-0 due to the fact that the comprehensive plan shows this area as a rural neighborhood and the C-1 designation doesn’t fit with the surrounding areas.”

Lee argued that a commercial business fits well on U.S. 41 and that there wasn’t any opposition from the public at either of the Planning Commission meetings.

“It’s on the corner of U.S. 41 and Dogwood Lane, which is a dead-end street,” Lee said. “Both times I came to the meeting, nobody from the community came or was against it. The main one I wanted was a mini-storage, which has only 30 units and would not be high traffic. U.S. 41 highway’s long-term goal anyway is for everything to be commercial. I’m not trying to put it on some street. It’s on Highway 41. I mean, you take your property, you pay your taxes, and you decide you want to do something with it.”

Commission Chairman Steven Henry said he visited the site earlier in the day and that his only issue is that residential property exists on both sides and behind Lee’s eighth-of-an-acre lot.

Lee said he planned on creating a 50-foot buffer on the property with trees and shrubbery that would cover it.

Commissioner Jeff Long also pointed out the issue of Lee potentially being required to bring the road up to Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) commercial standards.

Lee claimed that traffic wouldn’t be a big issue at the property.

“On a 30-unit mini-storage, it might be that some days it might not have nobody in there,” Lee said. “There’s a need for mini-storage in the area because there’s none there from Whitfield County to downtown Ringgold.”

Before the vote, Chairman Henry double-checked with Davis about what the county’s comprehensive plan allows at the site.

“The comp plan shows it as ‘rural neighborhood’, which allows for A-1, PCFD, R-A, and R-1 … no commercial,” Davis said.

Ultimately, Commissioner Jeff Long motioned to deny the request, which passed with votes from three of the four commissioners present. Commissioner Jim Cutler was absent from the meeting and Bobby Winters didn’t vote either way.

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