The Columbia County Planning Commission deadlocked on a Thursday vote to rezone land that once housed an Appling fire station.
Commissioners voted 2-2 to rezone about a half-acre at 2733 Louisville Road from special use to a residential/agricultural zoning.
The land, once a fire station of the now defunct Appling Fire Department, is a residence and possibly a garage, officials and a neighbor said at the meeting.
John West, a lawyer for the land owner, said the resident simply likes to "tinker" with cars.
Planning Commissioners Dean Thompson and Jim Cox said the land should not be rezoned until the residents comply with the current zoning.
"It seems to be rewarding them for all their past code violations," Thompson said.
Planning commission Chairwoman Deanne Hall and Commissioner Jean Garniewicz said the only difference between a special and an R/A zoning is that the latter allows someone to live on the property. A commercial venture still would not be allowed to operate.
The motion failed on the tie. The failure prevents the zoning board from recommending approval to the county commission.
The Columbia County Commission will review the rezoning at its next meeting Mar. 4.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the final plat for Marshall Office Park. The plat allows for the development of an office park divided into four lots on nearly 16 acres fronting Industrial Park Drive in Evans.
The commission voted 4-0 not to recommend the rezoning of a "townhome" development at 4140 and 4141 Freeman Avenue. Developers had asked to change the zoning from apartment to a planned unit development.
The move would have allowed developers to add more units.
"It appears to me they're just trying to increase their density by calling it another name," Thompson said.
Planning commissioners unanimously voted to recommend the rezoning of about 22 acres at 4874 Washington Road from townhome residential to a planned unit development.
Hall said the move would give commissioners more control in guiding the development.
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