Applicant Yan Li Meng is seeking approval of a special use permit to change ownership of an existing spa business in the Peachtree Plaza Shopping Center on Peachtree Parkway at the intersection of Jay Bird Alley. The existing C-2 zoning permits spa businesses, including massage therapy, with an approved special use permit. The change of ownership is now triggering the need for the special use permit approval.
The Peachtree Corners City Council will hold a public hearing on February 22, 2022.
At the Planning Commission January 18, 2022, hearing, there were no speakers in opposition to the special use permit request and one speaker in support who commented that the applicant, who has been in the massage business for three years, is a reputable businessperson who likely did not understand the history of the site and would not be engaged in similar practices. With a vote of 5-0, the Planning Commission recommended denial to the City Council.
The property is surrounded by other C-2 properties, with a small area of M-1 zoning also to the east of the site. According to permit documents, the 2040 Comprehensive Plan’s Character Area Map indicates that the property is located within the Central Business District Character Area. Policies for this area encourage a mixture of uses, including destination-type retail and service businesses.
According to City Planners, the proposal for a spa business is consistent with C-2 zoning. However, this location has been the site of illegal activity that resulted in police action against the owner /operator, who is not currently the applicant.
According to the staff report, the owner is trying to sell the business, but the site may retain the business’ reputation. Although the current applicant has submitted documentation of a state licensing to operate a massage business to the City of Peachtree Corners, the proposed site is no longer an appropriate location to conduct massage therapy services because of its history and reputation.
The planner’s rationale is that the existing location likely has customers aware of the previous illicit activity, and customers and the general public will not necessarily be aware of a change of ownership. Ultimately, City Planners felt that the reputation of one tenant space could negatively impact the entire shopping center. Therefore, to preserve the integrity of the remaining tenants and the shopping center, a spa and massage business would no longer be appropriate in the location.