The Columbia County Plan-ning Commission was divided Thursday when deciding a rezoning request for two Washington Road properties that conflicted with the county's growth management plan.
The county's planning staff opposed the request to rezone three acres at 4515 and 4521 Washington Road from single-family residential to general commercial.
"The growth management plan is quite clear that commercial zoning is inappropriate here," county planner Dave Van De Weghe said.
The planning and zoning board ultimately agreed with the staff's recommendation, denying the plans, 3-2.
The property, across from the Family Y in Evans is a quarter-mile outside the Evans Town Center node, where commercial development is urged.
The addition of commercial zonings outside the designated nodes could result in strip malls, Van De Wehge said.
Much of the surrounding commercial property was rezoned years ago, he said.
Real estate agent Eric Crawford, who listed the property, said three businesses were interested in buying the land; however, no contracts contingent on the zoning were ever made.
"It would be, I think, a little more helpful if somebody came through with a contract," said Chairwoman Jean Garniewicz.
Board members Gary Rich-ardson and Bob Newkirk voted for the rezoning's approval.
"I think when you have the same type of zoning on both sides of the property and straight across the street, surely you're not talking about spot zoning," Richardson said.
Also, the planning commission granted a rezoning, with conditions, for four acres on Collins Drive from single-family residential and single-family/two-family residential to planned unit development.
The 13 lots containing single-family homes will front Collins Drive in Martinez. Conditions include installing permanent natural buffers, using staggering front setbacks, building varying housing styles and adding double garages on some houses.
A preliminary plat for the Collins Park subdivision, off Collins Drive, also was approved.
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