The Bryan County Commission on Tuesday said no to a new business that would've put a new gas station and convenience store on Highway 144 near Highway 144 Spur.
The new gas station would've been adjacent to the current station on the busy corner.
During their monthly meeting, the commissioners voted to deny the request for a conditional use in a B-1 zone that would have allowed the business to locate there.
Property owner Michael Roberts said he was willing to do whatever it took to make the project a success and satisfy the commissioners concerns. Their concerns included emergency water flow to the area, along with increased traffic and disturbance to the nearby Oxford Subdivision and other residences.
Roberts told the commissioners that the new service station and convenience store would be next door to an existing service station on the corner of Highway 144 and Highway 144 Spur.
The planning commission denied Roberts' request last month for a conditional use. It was a 2-2 vote, with Chairman Wade Gibson casting the deciding vote to deny the request.
Roberts said he was vested in the community and would ensure to make the project a success, adding that there would be a 50-foot planted buffer to the rear of the project.
Local real-estate agent Cathy Butler Gregory spoke in favor of the request.
"Competition is good. It breeds success. We don't want to shut the gates, especially when the business is going to be locally owned. The builder is Wilson Pickett. He has a good traffic record and will do a good job," she said.
"I don't see how a similar business there will benefit the community. I have traffic concerns, and I'm concerned with residences being so close," Oxford resident Joanne Johnson told the commissioners.
The commissioners apparently agreed and voted unanimously to disapprove the conditional-use request, with Commissioner Steve Myers making the motion and Commissioner Noah Covington seconding.