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New Orleans style will update Brookhaven building

Jim Elliot and Amanda Warren acquired the Herndon Eye Clinic building located on 347 West Cherokee St. in February, with plans of renovating the entire building.

Those plans call for upgrading the upstairs apartments which have been empty for several months now, renovating the downstairs for commercial use and  giving the outside of the building a makeover.

“We’re going to give the building a New Orleans style look. I think it will be an asset for the city of Brookhaven,” Elliot said.

The plans could be on hold due to commercial zoning issues, according to Brookhaven building inspector David Fearn.

“It’s a non-conforming use because it has apartments in there currently and when a non-conforming use has been discontinued or abandoned for six consecutive months, it reverts back to the original zoning, which in this case is Commercial 2,” he said.

“All residential structures are excluded in the Commercial 2 zone,” Fearn said. “In the central business district, residential occupancy above the first floor is allowed. It could be on the first floor if they come and get a waiver signed.”

The Board of Aldermen will review the central business district and possibly expand the district to include the property in question. If that happens, then the owners can move ahead with their plans, Fearn said.

The Brookhaven Planning Commission will meet May 25. If the commission approves the matter, they’ll send a recommendation to the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen.