There seems to be a trend catching hold in area governments: New apartments are getting a chilly reception.
Last week, in a marathon discussion ending in a middle-of-the-night vote, North Augusta's City Council rejected a proposed new apartment complex on the city's riverfront.
Columbia County commissioners recently turned down rezoning for 10 acres in Martinez that would have become part of a 30-acre apartment development. That vote came shortely after commissioners rejected a Wheeler Road apartment rezoning.
Are these rejections snobbery toward renters, as some suggest? More likely, they are a reflection of angst from citizens fed up with snarled traffic, overcrowded schools and pockets of crime.
These things aren't the fault of renters. But anytime a postage-stamp plot of land can be turned into homes for hundreds of people, owners of nearby single-family homes can't help but think: There goes the neighborhood.
In Columbia County, commissioners have placed a de facto moratorium on apartment rezonings, citing the number of vacant apartment-zoned properties.
Developers contend politicians are meddling with the free market - as if that isn't already an inevitable consequence of zoning laws.
More likely, public officials are simply listening to their constituents. Since when was that a bad idea?
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