10-14-21 Chili's rendering.jpg

The Athens City Council looked at a site plan Monday for construction of a Chili's on East Tyler Street, on property east of St. Edward Catholic Church.

The Athens City Council, Monday, heard requests from a pair of developers with plans for constructing a restaurant and apartment complex in the city.

The proposed restaurant is a Chili’s that could become the latest business on East Tyler Street. The council conducted a public hearing and first reading on a site plan for a property east of St. Edward Catholic Church for the purpose of placing the establishment there.

Scott Deskin of SCC Development requested the action for the property at 904 E. Tyler St., across from the Brookshire’s store which, if approved, will divide it into three lots, with one to be the site of the Chili’s.

Much of the public discussion concerned trees that will be removed from Lot 1 to make way for the construction.

“They are proposing to remove all of the existing trees on site,” said Audrey Sloan, Athens Director of Development Services.

Mayor Toni Clay asked if some of the trees on the perimeter of the property could be preserved. The developer said they could not because the construction would likely kill their root systems.

Citizen Ann Perryman asked that a particular mature pecan tree on the west side be saved, if possible, because of its beauty and the shade it provides.

A final reading on the replat is expected Oct. 25.

The council also conducted a public hearing and first reading of a zoning change request from Jeff Hygood of GVD Deer Park LLC that would allow a 128 unit apartment complex to be built on Wood Street. The 8.062 acre tract is across Wood Street from Oak Wood Place Assisted Living. The property is currently owned by the Athens Economic Development Corporation.

Sloan said the current zoning is industrial as the eight acres is being carved out of a 44-acre section of Athens Industrial Park.

“The site plan consists of six apartment buildings, clubhouse, swimming pool, playground and dog park,” Sloan said.

The apartments will be one and two bedroom varieties, ranging from 579 square feet to 1,089 square feet.

Oak Wood Place owner David Daniels spoke in favor of the development.

“We’re fully supportive as being a citizen of the City of Athens for well over 50 years,” Daniels said. “At least since the late '70s, this is the first new apartment complex that has not had government funding. It’s certainly going to be a nice asset for the city and very well needed.”

A final reading is expected Oct. 25.

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