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Board denies variance request

Residents of Walnut, College and Murphree streets came before the Board of Adjustments Thursday to protest the opening of a lawyer’s office on Walnut Street.

But, the opposition was in vain since the variance was automatically denied when local attorney Jon Folmar did not come before the board to make his request.

“We have a policy that if you are not present to represent your request it is denied,” said Board of Adjustments Chairman Jack Norton.

Folmar’s request was for a variance to open and operate a law office at 314 W. Walnut St. in an existing office building but in an area that is zoned for housing only.

Folmar planned to lease the office building for a period not greater than four years, so the adjustment would be temporary.

Ed Telfair, a resident of College Street and a spokesman for a new historical society, said he and his neighbors were opposed to the request since they are working to preserve the district.

“It’s always been R1, and we’re all opposed to the variance,” Telfair said. “We’re here to let them know how we really felt.”

Telfair said he is working to form the College Street Historical District, which would encompass Murphree, Walnut, China and Pine Streets.

“We’re forming an association to ensure that remains as such,” Telfair said.

Though the request was automatically denied, the board also denied a similar request to place a consulting business next door at 318 West Walnut St.

Norton said Folmar could present his request to the board again, but he will have to go through the submission process all over again.

Also in the meeting, the board approved a request to construct a new church at the corner of 310 and 312 Corman Avenue.

It will be located n an R-2 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, and it will be called the Cathedral of Praise Ministry.

The request was approved as a special exemption request for zoning.