Columbia County Commissioners left a lot on the table last week.
Faced with three controversial zoning-related decisions, Columbia County Commissioners tabled two - at the applicants' requests - and OK'd the third Monday night.
Commissioners approved the second go-round of the county's Evans Town Center ordinance, a zoning overlay district aimed at a 1.5-mile radius around the intersection of Washington-Belair roads.
Their approval came after two residents - including a woman who had sued the county to have the town center ruled unconstitutional - expressed their opposition to the ordinance.
"It's basically a bunch of landscaping requirements and building requirements with no plan," said Gail Stebbins, who's lawsuit got the original version of the Evans Town Center thrown out. "As it is written it just won't be able to work."
She encouraged commissioners to take a step back and develop a better plan.
"Make a legacy for yourself and Columbia County," she said. "This ordinance is not it."
But commissioners said the current ordinance was better than nothing and plans are already in place to a revision in the coming year.
"Without disturbing the heart of what we need in the Evans Town Center...I think our future commission needs to look at what we can do to find ways of making this a better ordinance," Commission Chairman Jim Whitehead said.
Commissioners will wait until Dec. 3 to decide on Sunday racing and longer hours on Saturday at Gordon Park Speedway.
County Administrator Steve Szablewski said William "Catfish" Reese asked commissioners to delay deciding on his request because his wife is in the hospital.
Earlier this month, planning commissioners denied Reese's requests for an extra hour of racing on Saturday night - ending at 12:30 a.m., instead of 11:30 p.m. - and blanket permission for Sunday racing in case of rainouts.
Also during the commission meeting, Stebbins asked commissioners to rezone 6.64 acres at Cox and Belair roads from neighborhood commercial use to the more intensive community commercial use.
But after talking about the request with commissioners, she asked to bring back her request as a Planned Unit Development - which requires a very specific site plan.
Stebbins wants to build a commercial and office complex on the front of the property with storage buildings in back. The storage units would be completely enclosed and climate-controlled and serve the occupants of the center and nearby residents.
Commissioners said rezoning the property for community commercial use would allow too many potential uses that would detrimental to the surrounding area. The PUD zoning would require Stebbins to show the layout and uses of each building.
"It very well may be the same thing she is talking about right now, but at least we'd have something on paper," said commissioner Diane Ford.
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