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Columbia County Commission approves Martinez rezoning

Posted: October 18, 2011 - 4:03pm  |  Updated: October 18, 2011 - 7:54pm

Following much debate, Columbia County commissioners approved a rezoning Tuesday with specific conditions for about 40 acres in Martinez.
The rezoning allows developers to decrease lot sizes from 30,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet, though developers said they intend to sell 14,000-square-foot lots at the site on Point Comfort Road.
Some area residents argued that such a development would reduce their property values, but developers countered that neighboring properties also are zoned with the smaller lot requirement and one even is rezoned for apartments.
In the end, commissioners agreed to rezone the property if developers build sidewalks and seek county approval for a buffering plan between that site and surrounding neighborhoods.
In another rezoning issue, commissioners postponed discussion on a zoning revision for 21 acres on North Belair Road.
Developers wish to remove that property from a planned unit development at Crawford Creek to create a new one called Amy Glenn. The new development would consist of 62 single-family homes.
Residents of the nearby Amherst neighborhood have complained to commissioners that the intended PUD would create too much traffic on Wendover Way, which runs through their neighborhood and once was the only proposed access point to Amy Glenn.
However, at an Oct. 4 meeting, developers said they are considering another access to the neighborhood from North Belair Road, but officials worried that the road might be too narrow to allow for heavy machinery and construction vehicles.
Amy Glenn developers asked commissioners to postpone the rezoning.
Also at the meeting, commissioners voted against a request by the West Lake Property Owners Association to receive $78,000 from the county's street light fund for help install 36 street lights in the gated neighborhood off Furys Ferry Road.
In cases where commissioners provide funds for such installations, it typically is in newer neighborhoods where developers already have built much of the necessary infrastructure.
Though commissioners will not devote county funds for the installation, they passed a resolution creating a special street light tax district for West Lake. Such tax districts allow the county to pay for the operating costs of the street lights and then charge homeowners for those expenses on their property bills.

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