New restaurant in the works off Skinner Mill Road; Some neighbors not on board

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - Plans are in the works for a new "neighborhood" style restaurant on the intersection of Skinner Mill and Boy Scout Roads. Some neighbors, though, are not excited. 

A community meeting was held last week, and Monday, the idea went before the Planning and Zoning Committee. 

The property that the potential restaurant would sit on has been vacant for more than a decade. It's dually zoned right now: Part residential, part commercial, but the business owner is wanting to change that. 

The planning and zoning committee passed the recommendation to change the zoning to B-1 commercial.

"Being hidden, or out of sight I would say, it has still been crashed into many times," Marcia Plunkett, a neighbor, described her family's cemetery. 

The Plunkett family has owned the Skinner Cemetery for two centuries. Located off of Skinner Mill Road, directly beside where the proposed restaurant would sit,  Marcia Plunkett told us the memorial site is a piece of history. 

Her husband's 4th great grandfather, William Skinner III, was laid to rest there: "He was in the state senate at one time. He was a part of the original Georgia Delegation, Justice of the Peace."

Plunkett is working to honor the family, and she and other neighbors believe a new restaurant will bring more traffic and noise. 

But Kim Bragg disagrees. As a realtor, the neighbor talks to people coming to Augusta from all over the world. 

A popular question: "Where are your neighborhoods that we can walk to your restaurants, and we can walk to your groceries stores? We don't have that in Richmond County," Bragg explained. 

She brought up in the meeting that the business would attract people from across the CSRA, and Commissioner Sean Frantom said it's a concept unlike any other in the area.

"... somewhere you can bring your family, bring your kids, and give them a place to not only  grab a great meal, but to also hang out and play," Rody Jacobs described the restaurant concept.  

Opening an eatery would be a first for Jacobs. He said cooking has always been a passion and has spent the past 5 years researching the project: "The planted vegetated walls, the storm water retention, the drivable grass paved parking lot."

"We are impressed with his idea and concept," Plunkett concluded. "We are most concerned with the location."

Jacobs said he plans to put a plaque in the proposed restaurant honoring the cemetery.

For those of you not in favor of the business, there is an online petition.

The final yes or no will be decided in full commission on July 17th. 

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