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Controversial rezoning in Martinez approved

Posted: October 23, 2011 - 1:04am

Twitter @DonnieFetter

Columbia County commissioners approved a controversial rezoning for a new housing development in Martinez, but added conditions to the project.

The rezoning, approved at Tuesday’s commission meeting, 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 40-acre site on Point Comfort Road.

Some area residents argued that such a development would reduce their property values.

“It is a good time to build, however, it’s not the right place to build a home like this,” said Point Comfort Road resident Kristen Wagaman.

Developers countered that neighboring properties also are zoned with the smaller lot requirement.

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 want 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. Amy Glenn developers asked commissioners to postpone the rezoning.

IN OTHER MEETING NEWS

• The commission voted 4-1 to allow another PUD revision on Horizon South Parkway near the Grovetown Walmart. The revision eliminates a through-access road from Chamblin Road to Horizon South Parkway, increases the commercial zoning of the area from 26.3 to 31.8 acres, reduces apartment zoning from 39.8 to 39.2 acres, eliminates an option for townhomes, and adds a 1.5-acre retention pond. Only District 4 Commissioner Bill Morris voted against it.

• Commissioners rejected a request from the West Lake Property Owners Association to receive $78,000 from the county’s street light fund for help installing 36 street lights in the gated neighborhood off Furys Ferry Road. However, 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.

• An ordinance was passed that allows the county to collect 911 fees on prepaid mobile phones. County Administrator Scott Johnson said that could boost county revenues each year to as much as $100,000, and follows a change in state law allowing such charges.

• A five-year lease with Southern Communications Services Inc. was agreed upon. The company will pay $1,700 per month to operate communications equipment from county-owned towers.

• Final approval was given to a resolution adding a $5 fee per day to those wishing to drive golf cars at Wildwood Park. Regular visitors to the park have the option to purchase a $20 annual pass to use golf cars.

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