Debate and voting on a proposed zoning of land for phase two of Riverwood Plantation probably will be tabled until Nov. 17 at Thursday's Columbia County Planning Commission meeting, said Tom Tully, a county senior planner.
The application to rezone 1,500 acres of land owned by the Pollard Land Co. was originally set for a vote Oct. 20.
Wayne Millar, the developer of Riverwood Plantation, will be out of town Thursday and unable to attend the planning commission meeting, he said Friday.
The vote was tabled until Thursday because of issues raised by county planning and development staffers concerning a lack of land set aside for the Columbia County school system, 230 additional acres intended for commercial development, inconsistencies in the developer's application narrative and the adequacy of buffers from existing neighboring development.
Tully said Millar's group and the county have worked toward designating land for an elementary and middle school but the other issues remain unresolved.
Among the inconsistencies, the developer has R-3 zoned areas containing as many as six units per acre, with some lots sizes as small as 3,000 square feet. County guidelines require a minimum of 7,500 square feet with that zoning.
Residents of nearby subdivisions said at the Oct. 20 planning commission meeting that phase two will be too densely developed and will put a tremendous strain on existing infrastructure and further congest traffic along Washington Road.
"(The planning and development staff's) answer that the request would not cause excessive burdens on the existing infrastructure, that's the biggest joke I've ever seen in my life," said Mark Schmidt, the president of the Windmill Property Owners Association.
Schmidt cited concerns about inadequate waterlines and storm water runoff.
"I'm concerned by the amount of traffic that will be generated and put onto William Few Parkway and it is not properly being addressed," said Wayne Moore, a resident of Magnolia Plantation.
Schmidt said the nature of the development, which according to the application would include some lot sizes for free-standing single-family homes at 3,000 square feet, does not conform to existing large lot sizes and home construction in the area that brought the current homeowners there.
Some residents are concerned the county is not recognizing the impact the development will have on Greenbrier High School, which opened 10 years ago with more than 1,300 students and now has more than 1,900.
"There is no mention (by the county) of the overwhelming of Greenbrier High School, which is busting at the seams," Moore said.
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