Milton City Council will decide the fate of the former Hardeman country store that its new owners want to reopen at their 6 p.m. meeting today.
The council is meeting on a Wednesday because Monday was Washington's Birthday, a holiday.
Staff's recommendation is to allow the rezoning, but to require the applicant to go through normal procedures for sign approval. The applicant wants to paint a large sign on the side of the store.
The applicants want the slightly more than half-acre site rezoned to historic district so that they can use the existing 1,179 square foot building as a country store.The applicant said in a revised letter of intent that, “Beginning in the late 1940’s to the early 1950’s, the store building at thenortheast corner of the property was used as a general store and small town gathering place, while maintaining the rural atmosphere and charm of the area….Patrons came to the Hardeman Store to obtain grocery staples such as bread, eggs, flour and milk. The store carried items obtained locally, including fresh meat and vegetables, jellies and jams, cheese and baked goods. Reflecting the community it served, the store carried hardware, seed and feed and sundry items."
The City Council declared the building historic on Aug. 20, 2012.
Staff recommends approving the rezoning from AG-1 to Historic in its report, saying "Although the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the Future Land Use Plan’srecommendation of Agricultural, Equestrian, and Estate Residential, it is Staff’sopinion that by rezoning it to H (Historic) it is consistent with the intent of the H(Historic) district to preserve the rich traditions of history and culture in Milton."
The Community Development staff included recommended conditions to ensure that the proposed general store will not have a negative impact on the surrounding community.