Columbia County's Planning Commission approved a rezoning Thursday night that will allow more parking space for a new Rhinehart's Oyster Bar being constructed at North Belair and Owens roads.
The request by the owners of Rhinehart's was to rezone a quarter-acre site from single-family residential to neighborhood commercial on North Belair Road just north of Edwards Drive and south of Owens Road.
"We just want to develop that area so it will be able to complement the rest of the property with that zoning," Craig Bailey, one of Rhinehart's owners, told planning commissioners at the Thursday night meeting.
Tom Sprague, who was elected as the commission's vice chairman Thursday night, praised the restaurant's construction project for its aesthetics.
"I think the owners of Rhinehart's should be commended for the work they are doing," he said. "I think the building is a compliment to the area."
In other action, the commission gave preliminary approval to a plan to expand West Lake subdivision in Martinez.
The preliminary plat, which calls for 31 lots on 34 acres to the east side of Furys Ferry Road south of Evans-to-Locks Road, was approved unanimously by the commission and is considered a new section of West Lake.
Also at the meeting, Ron Thigpen was nominated to serve as the commission's chairman while Deanne Hall, of District 3, and Tony Atkins, of District 4, were introduced as newly elected members of the planning commission.
Outgoing members are Bob Newkirk, who was the board's vice chairman, and Edgar Pund, who had served as chairman.
Hall said she thinks her experience as secretary on the green space advisory board will prepare her for the future.
"By being a new Columbia County resident and (having previous) experience with green space, I think (all of those factors) will contribute to my service on the planning and developing for the county," she said.
Atkins said he also thinks his experience will help him in his new appointment.
"I hope my experience with real estate will bring some expertise that will benefit the whole county when making decisions for the future," he said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.