A new apartment complex might be in the works for a 30-acre parcel at the corner of Washington and Kroger roads in Martinez.
A developer will ask the county's Planning Commission to rezone 10 acres of the property at that corner from commercial to high-density residential during a Thursday meeting, said Columbia County Planning and Development Director Jeff Browning.
In August, county commissioners rejected the rezoning of 24 acres near Wheeler Road for a proposed apartment complex. The developers for that project, Atlanta-based Hathaway Development Co., later filed suit against the county. The case has not yet been resolved.
Browning said that the matter before planning commissioners on Thursday differs in that the surrounding 20 acres is already zoned for apartments and the 10 acres in question previously had an apartment-friendly zoning.
"About a year ago, a commercial user came in and said, 'I'd like to take 10 acres of that back to commercial for a specific commercial use,'" Browning said. "That 10 acres was rezoned back to commercial, leaving 20 acres still an apartment zoning."
Since then, plans to build a Tractor Supply store at the site fell through, Browning said.
"Now, they have an apartment developer interested in the property, but they would want the entire 30 acres," he said. "They want the 10 acres zoned back to apartment."
Browning and his staff will recommend the rezoning, citing nearby services for the apartment complex and its location on a major arterial road.
When the 30-acre plot was initially zoned for apartments, in 2005, residents of the nearby Heritage Hill subdivision complained, Browning said.
To appease those residents, the rezoning included a 150-foot buffer between the complex and the neighborhood, Browning said. The same conditions will still apply, he said.
The Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Evans Government Complex Auditorium on Ronald Reagan Drive.
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