Rhinehart's Oyster Bar in Evans might be attracting a crowd, but Columbia County's planning commissioners refused Tuesday night to approve a rezoning that would have allowed more parking space for the business.
The commission voted 4-0 against the rezoning, with Chairman Ron Thigpen absent from the meeting.
At issue was a proposal to rezone a half-acre lot at 4493 Edwards Drive from single-family residential to light commercial.
"It's just to get some overflow parking ... with as little impact as possible" on the surrounding neighborhood, said Craig Bailey, an owner of Rhinehart's.
However, one resident expressed concerns to the commission about how the rezoning would set a precedent, furthering the growth of commercial development in a mostly residential area.
Another resident wondered whether the parking lot would bring more traffic to Edwards Drive, but officials told the resident the parking lot would not be accessible from Edwards and could be accessed only from the Gibbs Road entrance of Rhinehart's.
Commissioners did not say why they decided not to approve the rezoning.
The issue will go before the county commission at its Sept. 20 meeting.
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