Beer be gone, Residents protest rezone

Residents protest Cedar Avenue rezoning. / Jessica Fairley

One business owner was disappointed after the Albany Board of Commissioners struck down his request to rezone a section of a residential neighborhood.

When Roderick Gray approached the board about placing a small grocery store in an Albany neighborhood, he thought for sure residents were on board.

"Everybody was smiling and laughing at me and having a good time. I thought everybody was okay with it. Then when I came to the meeting I see the people telling me they don't want a store," said Roderick Gray.

Several people from the neighborhood surrounding 507 Cedar Avenue showed up to the meeting with 100 signatures against rezoning the property for commercial use.

"If they put beer there they can easily get beer, put trash in the streets and bottles. Who's going to clean it up? I work. I'm 85 years old and I still work and our neighborhood needs to stay like it is," said Rushie Bridges.

After a public discussion, commissioners agreed.

"I think neighborhoods should be intact and you shouldn't put things there that could be a detriment to the community as a whole," said Jon Howard, Commissioner.

Also during the commission meeting, officials made a decision to move forward with plans for a new multimodal site. The board voted in favor of funding another site study.

"Once a site is selected, it is up to the commission to make sure that the site would be feasible and conducive to the new transit system," said Howard.

The study will cost the city $125,000 out of this fiscal year's budget and $150,000 out of next year's general fund.

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