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Avondale Rezoning Annexed Land

Property owner says the city is lowering the value of his land.

The Avondale Estates City Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, to hold a public hearing and then vote on a new zoning classification .

The plan appears to have full commission support, .

Joe Gargiulo said that if he wanted to sell land for construction of a QT convenience store, the city wouldn't allow it.

"That's my livelihood and you devalued it," he said at a meeting last week. "When I have a contract you'll be seeing me."

If the city commission gives approval, 32 tracts would be rezoned Central Business District (CBD) on July 1, when the annexation goes into effect.

City officials say no business will have to close because of the new zoning. Some businesses like service stations will be grandfathered in. They currently conform to county zoning but wouldn't be allowed under the CBD zoning.

However, the businesses that don't conform to CBD cannot expand or keep the same function if they change hands.

The CBD zoning would be temporary. The city and property owners would hold a series of meetings over the next year and decide on permanent zoning categories.

At a public hearing last week, Gargiulo, who owns 15 of the 32 tracts that will be annexed, said the city has a lot of nerve putting new restrictions on the businesses on his land. 

Those businesses are operating, he said, while downtown Avondale Estates is full of vacant buildings.

"I say clean up your own house before you tell me to clean up mine," he said.

This annexation went through the legislature and brings an unincorporated strip of land along College Avenue into Avondale Estates and Decatur. Sams Crossing will become the new boundary between the cities.

Garguiulo said he'd battled annexation attempts for years and compared the government to terrorists.

"I had to win everytime," he said. "You only had to win once. You win."

Not everybody at the hearing complained. Jonathan Clark of Avondale Estates said the annexation would "allow the connection of Avondale and Decatur. ... I was very excited to hear about it."

The city government plans to meet June 18 with landowners and June 20 with business owners in the soon-to-be-annexed land. A series of monthly meetings will start in June.

For a look at the city's short-term and long-term plan for the annexed property, go to the city webpage.

Ms. May 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I'm surprised to find myself in somewhat of agreement with Mr. Garguiulo (solely about cleaning up), but has anyone taken a long hard look at the Tudor style buildings lately? I normally don't head over that way, but got some pizza at Savage the other day, and passing on the sides I noticed a few chunks of the buildings have visible holes, and the whole thing is in pretty bad need of a paint job. Are there any plans to do anything to update those buildings?
Avondale resident May 29, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Agreed! Who are the current owners of the Tudor style business properties? Are they not responsible for upkeep as well? No wonder they stand empty!
ten May 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Don't be too sympathetic Mr. Garguiulo ONLY cares about making money. Not the community, safety, traffic, crime NOTHING. He is a JERK and if you ever meet him I guarantee you will say the same thing. We tried to work with him on getting some of his properties fixed up. He refused and said I don't have to do anything.

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