Say this much for Columbia County commissioners: Better late than never.
According to a story in today's News-Times, commissioners on Tuesday are likely to impose a temporary moratorium on new zonings for apartments. Not so coincidentally, they're taking this action after their disastrous, 11th-hour decision to retroactively apply apartment zoning restrictions to a project long ago approved for multi-family use under far less strict rules.
But Marshall Square is hardly the first development to suffer from commissioners' dislike for apartments. Commissioners first started singing the anti-apartment hymn in August 2007 when they rejected an apartment rezoning on Wheeler Road on the grounds that enough property in the county already was zoned for apartments. They used that same reasoning in rejecting another rezoning a year ago for a complex on Washington Road.
Thus, it's been nearly two years since this de facto moratorium started. It's about time commissioners put a real moratorium in place to force them to actually study the issue.
It won't get them off the hook with Marshall Square, but at least it opens the door to a more honest look at the issue.
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