Columbia County commissioners Tuesday rejected a developer’s request to turn a failed professional park in Evans into townhomes.
With a unanimous vote, commissioners turned down the rezoning of the site on Furys Ferry Road next to Oakbrook subdivision that would have allowed developer Joe Todd to build 26 townhomes.
“It just doesn’t seem compatible” with neighboring homes, said County Commission Chairman Ron Cross.
Earlier, Oakbrook resident Scott Kirchhoff spoke on behalf of more than a dozen neighbors at the meeting, worrying that the rezoning could hurt their homes’ value and increase traffic problems by forcing more U-turns on divided Furys Ferry Road.
In response to a question from Cross during Todd’s presentation, the developer wouldn’t rule out renting the townhomes. That prompted Kirchhoff to note the potential profit likely would increase the number of rentals, making the project more akin to apartments.
“Apartments definitely hurt home values,” Kirchhoff said.
The site is owned by the bank that took it from the previous developer in foreclosure when the professional development failed to make any sales. Todd said earlier his agreement to purchase the property was contingent on the rezoning.