Thomasville council members disagree on brick controversy

Thomasville council members disagree on brick controversy
Council Member Jay Flowers (Source: WALB)
Council Member Jay Flowers (Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Controversy continues in Thomasville as a big renovation project is currently on hold.

For the past two weeks, the fate of a new brick facade on a renovated building in downtown Thomasville has been up for debate.

Behind the brick is a deeper issue.

"We shouldn't be in the business of determining what brick is appropriate," said Thomasville City Council Member Jay Flowers.

Lucas Stewart, a new investor in the downtown area is currently renovating the building that used to be home to Old Mexico. Now it will be home to a new Mexican restaurant.

Stewart is appealing the decision made by the Historic Preservation Commission to deny the brick he chose to put up on the facade of the building.

The commission believes it does not fit the look of the historic downtown image.

During a city council workshop, there was a divide in opinion. Some council members believe the issue should be addressed by them now that it has been appealed.

Flowers believes they do not have the background to make decisions on the matter.

"The integrity of that is very important, that's why we have this historic commission. They come together as trained individuals in architects, construction and design and understand the nuances of that," said Flowers.

Flowers believes that if the council does make a decision on the appeal before the HPC can handle it on its own, it would set a horrible precedent going forward.

"I think its just a bad precedent to set that we become the arbitrates for what's acceptable on a building in downtown Thomasville," said Flowers.

In the past 30 years, there has only been one appeal voted on by the council and the council chose to uphold the decision of the HPC.

"Its amazing to me that in 30 years, that's there's never been an appeal, no one is right all the time," said Council Member David Hufstetler.

All in all, Flowers hopes that this issue can be resolved through the HPC.

"For 31 years, the HPC has been here and supported the goals of the community and restoring downtown to its historic nature," explained Flowers.

The HPC is expected to address the issue of the brick and several other topics at its meeting Friday morning.

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