An army of Camelot residents marched in to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night to defend what they said was the sanctity of their homes.
In the end, a group seated at a semi-round table ruled in favor of another resident at a Sir Galahad lot, allowing the two-acre site off Sir Galahad Drive in the Evans subdivision Camelot to be rezoned as commercial.
The Board of Commissioners voted in favor of the rezoning 4-1, with Diane Ford casting the lone dissenting vote "to protect these people in Camelot with a 40-foot buffer.''
The rezoning came with a 20-foot rear buffer, but the original motion made by Commissioner Tommy Mercer was to approve the rezoning with a 40-foot rear buffer between the two-acre site and the residential area of Camelot.
Commissioners were told that a sale of the two-acre property to another owner of an adjacent eight-acre parcel was pending the commercial rezoning approval.
County commissioners said they are looking at the possibility of requiring a 40-foot buffer between commercial development sites and residential areas. But with such a requirement not yet on the books, Tuesday night's motion was later amended to approve the rezoning with a 20-foot buffer.
Ron Cross, the county commission chairman, said the issue seemed to be simply a matter of updating poor bookkeeping.
He said the owner of the two-acre site, Harold Mays, had a letter stating that the property had already been zoned Commercial-2 in the 1970s. However, Cross said a map of the property still showed it as being residential along with the rest of Camelot.
Cross said County Attorney Doug Batchelor suggested that to clear up the confusion, a rezoning request would need to be submitted to the county.
"This whole thing was just a clean up of either a bookkeeping error or an oversight,'' Cross said.
Camelot residents told commissioners they worried not only about a buffer between their neighborhood and the newly rezoned commercial area but also about proper drainage. Cross said any development on the commercial property, though, would have to make proper adjustments for needed drainage on the site.
He also told Camelot residents that the two-acre parcel would not be allowed to have access from Sir Galahad Drive for commercial purposes.
"In no way is this intended to cause additional problems,'' he said to the residents at Tuesday night's meeting.
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