A final approval of a proposed rezoning for the former Warren C. Gibbs Library building will head to the Columbia County Commission on Tuesday, despite a change of heart by a potential buyer who prompted the request.
On Thursday, the Columbia County Planning Commission approved a rezoning application for the former library at 326 N. Belair Road, from Residential-2 to Professional-1. The Development Authority of Columbia County sought the rezoning as part of a deal to sell the building to Stephen I. Dekle, the president of The Insurance Center.
A representative of the development authority said during the meeting, though, that the deal with Dekle fell through because of a problem with the building's roof.
Still, the authority wanted to continue with the rezoning in hopes of selling the parcel to another party.
On Aug. 10, the development authority accepted a bid of $901,100 from Dekle over bids from three other developers, including one from a group led by Gail Duffie Stebbins, a granddaughter of the building's namesake.
Gibbs Library opened in November 1982 and was named after a former county school board member as part of an agreement between the county and Gibbs' stepson, who donated the land.
The library closed in February and was replaced with the new Columbia County Library next to the Evans courthouse.
Zack Daffin, the executive director of the development authority, said Friday that the authority is weighing its options after receiving recommendations from roofers calling for repairs or a completely new roof.
The authority also is seeking a legal opinion to determine whether the county would have to solicit new bids for the property before agreeing with other potential buyers.
The authority will review the original $900,000 appraisal for the 2-acre parcel to determine whether the condition of the 8,900-square-foot building was taken into consideration.
In other business at its meeting, the planning commission:
- Approved the rezoning of 11.6 acres at 6143 Ridge Road from Recreational-Residential to Special-1.
- Tabled the rezoning of 1.5 acres on the grounds of Augusta Christian Schools' Baston Road campus from Residential-3 to Special-1.
- Tabled the rezoning of 22.31 acres between 213 Foxdale Drive and Byrd Road from Residential-1 and R-2 to R-2, Residential Cluster Overlay.
- Tabled the rezoning of 0.32 acres at 425 Vaughn Road from Residential-3 to P-1.
- Approved the rezoning of 39.51 acres on Columbia Road near Ivy Falls from Residential-Agricultural to Planned Unit Development.
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