The historic Abe Jones House will no longer front Hog Mountain Road.
In 2014, the house, which dates back to either the mid-1890s or the first decade of the 1900s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was intended to house a restaurant. This would be the anchor tenet of a new commercial and office complex called Jones’ Corner.
However, the owners, Nick and Jane Bath, have had little success in securing a tenet.
“Various and numerous efforts have been made to develop or sell the property,” according to the rezone application. “However, these efforts have been unsuccessful due to the use limitations and conditions of the previous redone.”
Abe Abouhamdanof ABE Consulting, representing the Bath family, asked the Board of Commissioners Tuesday for modifications in the 2014 plan that would reduce the original footprint of the office and retail park and also relocate the historic house to the back of the property.
Abouhamdan stated that the square footage of the plan has been reduced from 56,835 square feet to 44,025 square feet.
According to the project narrative, the applicant has proffered disallowed uses. For example, car service enterprises formerly allowed under the initial plan are now prohibited. Although several restaurants are proposed, there will be no drive-thru restaurants. A proposed building along Hillcrest Drive has been jettisoned as well.
“We are asking for something lesser than what was approved,” said Abouhamdan. “We are not putting high intensity or high impact. We want to make sure that everything we are doing is for the benefit of the community. The plan before is best for all.”
The BOC voted unanimously to approve the plans.
For more on this story, see the Jan. 9 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.