A bid to amend the zoning of Augusta Christian Schools' Baston Road campus was tabled during a Thursday meeting of the Columbia County Planning Commission after complaints from nearby residents.
School Headmaster Joel Woodcock presented an application to amend the parcel's Special-1 zoning to include a planned field house that will lie between the school's football and baseball fields. The application also included a request to rezone 1.5 acres of land purchased since 2003 along Phillips Drive that is zoned Residential-2.
Three of the 10 residents from Phillips Drive and Lake Shore Loop who attended the meeting said they wanted to know what the school had in mind for the 1.5 acres. They also complained to the planning commission about noise during football games and events and delivery trucks and heavy school traffic on neighborhood streets that were once private and not designed to accommodate either.
Woodcock said no specific purpose has been set for the 1.5 acres, which borders the school to the southwest, but he revealed during the course of questioning by the planning commission that a building on the land was being used as a maintenance office. Columbia County planning director Jeff Browning said that under R-2 zoning, that is not a permitted use.
Lake Shore Loop resident Martha Farrell said the narrow roads are clogged each day with the vehicles of parents, pupils and faculty who use a back gate to access the school. She also said motorists park on the 1.5 acres tract during the school day and during events.
Woodcock admitted that parking in the neighborhood occurs, though he said it was not urged. He said sealing the gate would be "detrimental" to the school because it would hinder emergency vehicles and necessary deliveries.
Planning commissioner Tony Atkins, who led the meeting in the absences of chairman Tom Sprague and vice chairwoman Deanne Hall, said the school needs to address the concerns of residents and return with a plan by the next meeting on Sept. 21.
In other business, the planning commission:
- Approved the rezoning of 0.68 acre at 107 Lewiston Road from Residential-1 to Commercial-1.
- Approved the rezoning of 3 acres at 366 N. Belair Road from R-2 to Planned Development District.
- Tabled the rezoning of approximately 51 acres at 6143 Ridge Road from Recreational-Residential to S-1.
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