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Residents vent on growth at UDO forum
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At some point during a May 2 forum on the county’s still-in-the- works unified development ordinance, Bryan County planning consultant Michael Lauer responded to residents repeated assertions county leaders historically favor developers over the residents.

“You are aware the county commission is being sued, right?” Lauer said, referring to a lawsuit filed in February by the Home Builders Association of Greater Savannah over the county’s interim development ordinance and its impact fees.

That didn’t stop residents from voicing frustration with the fast pace of development in South Bryan at the forum, which was held at the South Bryan Administrative Complex.

It didn’t stop them from writing those frustrations down either, and afterward county planning officials compiled the results of the forum’s responses to questions ranging from what type of growth they like to what they hope the UDO will preserve.

Responses ranged from green space and quality construction to larger lots, traffic plans, environmental protections and workforce housing.

Many of the older neighborhoods, such as the original Buckhead and Redbird Creek, were lauded as well designed subdivisions. Several newer developments, including Buckhead East, River Oaks, Wicklow and Main Street, were listed as types of development to avoid.

 In addition, concerns about the update to the county’s development ordinance included the following: - Input by the citizens will be ignored overruled - The standard of living and quality of life will not be maintained - Over developed poorly constructed housing - No penalty system for disregard of ordinances - Future commissions changing rules from citizens’ to builders/developers will - Variances will continue to be allowed - Greed/money will override sustainable and quality development - Actual need for development will not be addressed.

The county is updating its development ordinances for the first time since the 1980s, county officials say.

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