The third time was the charm Thursday for the rezoning of nearly 62 acres on Hereford Farm Road.
The Columbia County Planning Commission gave their approval to rezone property at 4935 Hereford Farm Road to single-family residential with a residential cluster overlay.
Previous rezoning requests were denied in 2005 and 2007 due to concerns regarding lot size and density.
The approved rezoning will allow for an increased density and reduced minimum lot size. Neighboring subdivisions, such as Farmington and Crawford Creek, were developed at densities higher than what was requested at the meeting, county planners said.
"This would appear to be the best use for the property," said Planner Dave Van De Weghe.
While much of the property is steep and covered by wetlands, 77 lots with a density of 1.3 lots per acre are planned at the site.
Many nearby residents, including Commissioner Charles Allen, voiced their opinions about the request.
"I'd love to see less density, but obviously, this is by far, as they pointed out, the best deal we've been offered yet by a long shot," said Allen, who owns property next to the site.
In addition to density, others were concerned about increased traffic and urbanization in the area.
"I have to pull out on Hereford Farm Road, and it's like taking your life in your hands," said Dennis Fehrman, who owns 20 acres next to the property. "Hereford Farm Road is getting really treacherous."
The development's entrance is planned 275 feet away from Farmington Drive. Based on preliminary reviews, Georgia Department of Transportation standards don't require a center turn lane.
More than 20 acres will be used as open space, which meets the Growth Management Plan's goal of providing more open space in the county. Developers also plan to donate 14 acres to the county's greenspace program.
Planning Commissioner Gary Richardson said the intent is to not exceed the development's current density.
Two other rezoning requests were approved by the planning and zoning board.
Property on Harlem-Wrens Road was rezoned from residential agricultural to special district, which will allow a private cemetery on 0.18 acres. The land is located just south of Harlem city limits.
A second rezoning approval at 740 Jennings Road will permit a day care center for up to 12 children. The 1-acre parcel was rezoned from single-family residential to special district.
In other business, planning commissioners approved two preliminary plats for sections of Bartram Trail and Chastain Place.
Temporary use permitting a travel trailer at 5948 Wrightsboro Road also was passed by planning commissioners. The permit will allow the property owner to reside on site for a year as he renovates an abandoned house.
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