Planning and Zoning Commission Executive Director Jeff Ruggieri says they only have a few days to appeal.
MACON, Ga. — Time is running out fast against a bar on Pio Nono Avenue that now has just days to make a move to stay open.
Last week, after 46-year-old security guard Jermaine Stewart was shot and killed at the bar, Bibb Sheriff David Davis revoked the Rodeo’s liquor license.
On Thursday, the planning and zoning commission made its move, revoking the bar’s business license. It’s a measure that Executive Director Jeff Ruggieri says is very rare. He says in his time on the zoning board, he hasn’t seen it used this way.
“It was a very easy decision,” Ruggieri said; but it was a departure from the norm.
On Thursday, the zoning board sent a letter to the owner of Rodeo Bar and Grill. They revoked the bar’s business license, which means it has to close. The permit is different from a business license, which comes from the county.
“Business licensing and zoning compliance, you need both to move forward. So what we specifically address is the issue of zoning it and the use of the property itself and being a bar,” Ruggieri said. “They are operating in violation and part of our enforcement to do that, we have the ability to revoke their permit.”
Chris Garcia worked at a nearby restaurant. He remembers eating his favorite carne asada tacos around the corner and hearing fights from the restaurant’s parking lot.
“Stay there for about an hour, 10, 10:30, you’ll hear people yelling … fighting,” he said.
Garcia says that while it may be difficult for the owners, closing the bar is a good move.
“I had a feeling it was going to happen one day. It’s a bad area. Sometimes it gets bad,” Garcia said. “I mean, it’s kind of sad, but it’s for the best, you know?”
Ruggieri says removing permissions is usually reserved for other situations, like when there’s an error in an application.
Rodeo only has until Thursday to file an appeal. If they submit that documentation, they will present their case to the entire planning and zoning board.
Leave a Reply