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Planning board votes no to bus service facility near Harlem

Posted: September 6, 2012 - 8:05pm  |  Updated: September 12, 2012 - 12:08am

Columbia County planning commissioners put the brakes on a proposed motor coach maintenance shop near Pumpkin Center.

Al Harris, owner of Horizon Motor Coach in Harlem, sought rezoning of five acres near Wrightsboro and Appling Harlem roads to put a motor coach office and maintenance yard on part of a 40-acre parcel.

Originally, the request was to change the residential-agricultural property to general industrial. After the county’s planning staff advised against that rezoning, Harris asked to rezone the land to special district.

During the meeting the site of the facility moved from the back of the 40-acre lot to the front, directly behind Pumpkin Center. Entrance access would be connected to Wrightsboro Road.

After listening to neighboring residents voice several concerns, the planning commission recommended disapproval of the rezoning. They agreed that signs publicizing the new proposed location should be placed on the property prior to another rezoning hearing.

“I think there are a lot of legitimate concerns,” said planning commissioner Gary Richardson.

Harris, who wanted to table the item, said it was important for him to pick a location near Interstate 20.

“We really thought this was a great location,” he said.

Several residents living in the Lamkin Spring subdivision, located near the property in question, disagreed.

“I think with more traffic there, we’re going to create more of a jumble than we’ve already got,” said neighbor Kenneth Roland.

Lamkin Spring resident Alan Makowsky said he worried that rezoning the property to anything other than residential would set a precedent in the quiet area.

“Most of us moved into this neighborhood because it is where it is,” he said.

In other business, the planning commission approved:

• A rezoning of 8.5 acres at 342 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez from neighborhood commercial to single-family residential.

• A rezoning of .35 acres at Washington and Cummings roads in Evans from single-family residential to neighborhood commercial.

• A preliminary plat for 65 lots on 19.7 acres in the Bridgewater section of Canterbury Farms.

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