The Columbia County Planning Commission decided not to take a stance Thursday on a request to subdivide property within an Appling fishing club.
By a 3-1 vote, the commission sent a request by the Full Moon Fishing Club to the county's Planning and Engineering Services Committee without a positive or negative recommendation. Instead, the zoning board asked the county commission to amend zoning ordinances to allow the club to subdivide its land.
The club owns the nine fishing cottages along Thurmond Lake off Full Moon Road. The club bought the property from the Army Corps of Engineers in 1984.
Members are asking the county to turn their 3.75-acre tract into nine parcels. Club President Emory Towner said members can't get loans to renovate their fishing cottages or have the rights to will their houses to relatives without individual ownership.
County codes, however, require sewers, improved roads and much larger lots than currently exist on the site. Variances from lot size requirements cannot be issued, planning director Jeff Browning said.
Complicating the matter is a 1993 county decision that essentially allowed a club of retirees from the former Martinez Volunteer Fire Department to subdivide their similarly-size lots on an adjacent property. Browning said that subdivision requirements are much stricter today and that Full Moon does not meet those standards.
Towner said the county would be discriminating against Full Moon members if their request isn't approved.
Towner said the club followed requests by various county entities for years to improve their property in hopes the county would allow subdivision of the land.
Planning commission member Tony Atkins called the situation an inequity and said that he sympathized with the club but that he zoning board's hands were tied because of county codes.
The issue goes March 27 to the Planning and Engineering Services Committee.
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