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Commissioners will reconsider Hwy. 144 subdivision
Bryan County New Seal 2016

The Bryan County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to reconsider a rezoning issue at its August meeting that it originally rejected last month.

Commissioners at their June meeting rejected a rezoning application for a new subdivision on Highway 144, across from the Highway 144 Spur.

The 55-acre site, owned by Lamar Smith Homes, is currently zoned for residential use, but the developer requested it be rezoned to a Planned Unit Development. In exchange for being able to add five lots to the subdivision — for a total of 115 — Smith agreed to build an 8-foot-wide sidewalk parallel to Highway 144 along the entire 1,300-foot frontage of the project.

Planning Director Eric Greenway said the sidewalk would tie in with one that the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to install when Highway 144 is widened and would be across the road from the access point to the Green Creek Trail.

Commissioner Steve Myers, who made the motion in June to deny the request, made a motion Tuesday night that commissioners put the item on the agenda for Aug. 9.

“I’m just trying to undo what I did,” Myers said. “We should have tabled this at the last meeting so we could have some more discussion about it.”

Myers’ motion in June was seconded by Commissioner Rick Gardner. Commissioner Dallas Daniel joined them in voting down the request 3-2. Commissioners Noah Covington and Wade Price voted against the motion.

“The developer has met all the requirements of our ordinances,” Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said before the June vote. “How do we turn him down?”

Smith addressed the board Tuesday night, asking for a “thoughtful approach” to the final decision.

“Before we closed on this property we met with the county engineer so we could try to understand the rules as they exist,” he said. “We are trying to work within the confines of your ordinances.”

Smith said he sought to have the parcel rezoned to allow for less room between houses “to better address the realities of the housing market.”

In other business, commissioners appointed Erin Schultz and Betty Rosenthal to the Bryan County Library Board. Schultz is the media specialist at McAllister Elementary School and has been a teacher since 2006. Rosenthal, a CPA, previously served on the library board from 2007 to 2013. 

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