The Columbia County Planning Commission approved two special-district rezoning requests Thursday to allow for new churches.
More than 17 acres at Ray Owens and White Oak roads in Appling were rezoned from residential-agricultural to special district.
The rezoned property is next to the former J.D. Howell store, which has been renovated and is used by the men's ministry at Kiokee Baptist Church.
Facilities for the site will include an archery range, pavilion, camp sites and spots for recreational vehicles.
The campground will be used for church functions and the annual Appling Bowhunters Festival.
The rezoning request sparked some opposition from residents living near the property.
Debra Smalley, who lives on White Oak Road, said she was concerned about water contamination from a nearby dump station and a decrease in property values.
"I have no problem with archery and what they're doing in the building with the ministry and all," she said. "That's great, (but) I don't want to see a campsite here."
The dump site has been re-viewed by the health department and is in accordance with health regulations, said county planner Dave Van De Weghe.
"It's just a beautiful area there," said Hal Rowland, deacon of the church. "We don't intend on having anything that's an eyesore."
The church plans to use the site about four times a year, he said.
The board required that a landscaped buffer be added on White Oak Road, among other conditions.
Planning Commissioner Bob Newkirk, a member of Kiokee Baptist, abstained from the vote.
County planners said the proposed plan adheres to the county's Growth Management Plan by protecting Appling's rural character and conserving area forests.
The commission also rezoned property housing Mount Zion Baptist Church from single-family residential to special district so that a church can be built on the site.
A rezoning for the 1.5 acres on Hammond Circle is needed before the church is allowed to expand.
Plans have been proposed to demolish the current church and build a 7,000-square-foot building in its place.
The commission also rezoned a portion of 4517 Columbia Road from single-family residential to professional, which matches the remaining property's zoning.
Commissioners also approved the following final plats: five lots on 14.36 acres for Arlington II on Dozier Road and 28 lots on 10.78 acres at High Meadows Section 1 on Great Glen.
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