By Sid Riley
"You will be hearing from my Lawyer!" Those were the parting words thrown at the Marianna City Commissioners by an angered Pete Carmichael as he stormed out of last Tuesday’s meeting. He had just made a plea to the panel for consideration of the dilemma the city planning department has created in regards to a planned project and new use for the old Stone Hotel facility, which Carmichael owns.
His first area of complaint centered on the requirement, which the planning officials had made, which required him to have detailed drawings made of the proposed alterations. These drawing would have to be made and stamped by a certified engineer or architect. The cost - approximately $8,000.
The frustrated property owner alleged that other "change of use" projects in the area had not been met with this requirement and cost. Specifically he referred to the new Century Lighting store on Jackson Street, and a project at a nearby church. The planning officials retorted that those facilities were modern and were already in code compliance. The Commissioners and City Attorney Frank Bondurant took exception to his claim that favoritism had been demonstrated by the city.
Carmichael hopes to convert the lower portion of the grand old hotel into banquet and party rental space. He also plans to use the second floor for retail sales. In order to accomplish this goal, he was told that the facility would have to be fully brought up to modern construction and fire codes.
"That would be cost prohibitive, and you are thus making my building become worthless", Carmichael retorted. After reaching that impasse, he made his parting angry remark and stormed from the room.