Columbia County planning commissioners turned down two rezoning requests Thursday after nearby residents voiced concerns about the two projects.
The first was a request to rezone a parcel of land in Grovetown from residential-agricultural to special district for a radio station.
"We request that you grant us 1,450 square feet to expand our facility to 2,500 square feet, so we can improve our program with new equipment," said Clarence Barinowski, who has been the president of the Good News Network for the past 20 years. His station is located in the 2200 block of Wortham Lane.
More than 20 residents voiced their opposition, citing fears of heavy traffic and property depreciation.
"Property decreases could happen once this thing is zoned,'' resident Jeanne McGhee said. "I pay a lot of money for this place, and I don't want to see it go down."
Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the request.
Regardless of the outcome, Barinowski said, he will continue to operate the radio station.
Another issue that caused debate was a request to rezone a parcel of land on North Belair Road near Furys Ferry roads from single-family residential and light industrial to townhouse residential.
Jack Farmer, a real estate agent and resident of Creek View subdivision in Evans, said Hubert Anderson, the property's owner, initially wanted to use the land for industry.
Farmer, however, said he persuaded Anderson to consider using the parcel of land to erect townhouses.
Nearly a dozen residents disagreed with the proposal.
"These townhouses may look good new, but what will they look like 10 years down the road?" said Robert Gibbs, a resident of Fernbrook subdivision in Evans, which is across North Belair from the property. "Everything looks good, but what about the little pieces of property on the side and added traffic that will come? I'd rather the property remain a single-family residential."
Gibbs said he hopes someone will buy the property and develop a business that would befit the area.
Despite residents' disapproval, Anderson said, he plans to put the property to use either way.
"I'm going to do something with it," he said.
"I'll put as many warehouses, garages and everything I can in there."
The planning commission denied the rezoning request 4-1.
Chairman Ron Thigpen, Tom Sprague, Dean Thompson and Deanne Hall voted against the rezoning, and Tony Atkins voted in favor of it.
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