Thomson is getting a new cafeteria-style restaurant as a result of Thomson City Council's decision last Thursday night to grant the owner a conditional use status and variance.
For the past several weeks, Millie's Florist, located at 350 Gordon Street, has been undergoing renovations, according to Fred Guerrant, city/county planning director.
During a recent meeting of the city's planning commission, members recommended the approval of such requests from Wanda Hyman. Commission member Connie Dozier made a motion recommending the allowance of conditional use of a vacant lot for restaurant and to grant a conditional variance that would allow the parking lot to be covered by crusher-run for a period of two years. At the end of that time, the parking lot would have to be paved or its continued use would have to meet with re-approval of the planning board and city council.
Following a second to Mrs. Dozier's motion by Eddie Bentley, the requests were granted by city planning board members. The action, which had to be approved by city council before it was official, followed comments from Ms. Hyman and Tracey Arrington, her daughter, who explained that it would be cost prohibitive for them to pave the parking lot next door to their existing business.
Prior to city council members acting on the requests, Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry explained that members of the Thomson Historical Preservation Commission (HPC) had reviewed the proposal and recommended disapproval, contending the area is a gateway to the city.
Mayor Usry said even though "the paving is still up in the air," that he was going to recommend approval of the requests. He is hopeful that something can be worked out between the owners of the business and the HPC.
"We want you to be successful there," Mayor Usry said.
Ms. Hyman, who plans to offer country cooking cafeteria-style, has not yet determined when the restaurant might open.
City council members unanimously approved of the requests. Council members voting to approve it included Mayor Pro Tem Alton Belton, Rev. John Smalley, Bud Lunceford, Jaye Jones and Bernice Brown.