Conyers tightens requirements for personal care homes

CONYERS — Personal care homes in Conyers will have to adhere to tighter standards after the City Council approved an amendment to its zoning ordinance.

Marvin Flanigan, director of the city’s Planning and Inspection Services Department, told council members during its public meeting Wednesday that the amended ordinance clarifies some points and makes other conditions more stringent.

For example, he said, no personal care home is to be located within 1,500 feet of another similar business, such as another personal care home or day care. The previous wording stated only that they shall not be on the same block.

Another change to the ordinance is it increases the size of the heated floor space per resident. The previous ordinance required only 80 square feet; the revised ordinance requires 100 square foot rooms.

Relatedly, no more than two occupants may share a room instead of four, Flanigan said.

There must also be a residential component to a personal care home, he said, meaning whoever has registered for the occupational license must live in the home. The license must be prominently displayed at the main entrance.

“What we were finding out is that people would buy the home and rent it to elderly people and convert it to a rental-type apartment property,” Flanigan said.

In other news, the council amended its zoning ordinance to allow specialty trades contractors to apply for a special use permit within the Mixed-use Development district in the city.

Brad Poynter, owner of Fieldstone Center Inc. on Atlanta Highway, owns property on Green Street in Olde Town, which is in the Mixed-use District. He applied in November to request the city allow specialty trade contractors as a permitted use in the Mixed-use District.

When presenting the amendment to the City Council, Flanigan pointed out that the permitted use comes with a number of conditions. For example, no equipment or process is permitted to create noise, dust, vibration or odors that would be detected beyond the tenant space. Likewise, all equipment or materials must be stored inside a building and not visible from the street. Furthermore, the conditions state that specialty trade contractor business vehicles are limited to 1.5 ton carrying capacity.