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Indian Bluff rezoning gets nod
Neighbors worry about impact of R1 rezoning if project falls through
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Rezoning for a proposed Indian Bluff development was approved by Bryan County Commissioners Tuesday, winning approval with only one no vote to rezone the area R-1 with restrictions.

The property once belonged to the late Jim Williams, antique dealer and famed character from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

"We have a great plan, the best we could come up with, and what it does is preserve the trees, makes it the first green neighborhood in our area and provides 7.11 acres of green space," Developer Alan Mock said.

He agreed the area should be kept prime, exactly like it is, and have no more than 26 lots.

"We are trying to save every tree we possibly can, reduce the number of lots and the size of the lots to allow for the retention of the trees and making it into the deed that the common area can not be changed," Mock said.

Ed Bacon, commissioner for the 1st district, agreed that the plan now proposed seems to enhance the area. Commissioner Toby Roberts of the 4th district said, "Compared to what could happen to this piece of property, if kept at 26 lots, the current proposed plan would be better."

Many who live near the property, including Larry Garrett, Cathy Gregory and Diane Strickland, though positive about Mock’s abilities as a developer, expressed concerns over what would happen to the area in the future should the rezoning go through and the project ultimately fail.

Sewage issues were also a concern of neighbors, who said no one wanted a sewage treatment facility to pop up in their front or back yards. But Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said he’s seen the sewer systems proposed by Mock and said they were "slick new systems" that he would like to see in the county. Bacon agreed that the new sewage technology is all underground and should eliminate the smell associated with traditional treatment facilities.

In August, Mock went before the county planning and zoning board, which recommended his request be denied because it was not in conformance with adjoining properties

Mock has 180 days to complete engineering, archaeological and wetland studies on the feasibility of the project before the property reverts back to the original zoning status.

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