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Spur 144 rezoning denied
Plan would have put 44 homes on 42 acres
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The Bryan County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved one re-zoning request and denied another that would have put 44 homes on just over 42 acres off Spur 144.

Both projects had been recommended for approval by the county Planning and Zoning Board.

The owner of the land on Spur 144, Don Jones of Modern Craft Homes, was requesting the land be rezoned from A-5, which allows for homes to be built on five-acre tracts of land, to R-1, a zoning designation for single family residential homes.

The proposed development, which would have had houses on lots ranging from a half-acre to a little over two acres and ranging in price from about $240,000 to $650,000, drew opposition from nearby residents. They said the land is in an area that often floods and since the land was bought as A-5 it should stay that way.

Those opposed to the subdivision also argued it would compromise the quality of life of those who currently live in the area.

"This area floods and holds water," said Stuart Able, whose property backs up to that of the proposed development. "It is a problem anytime we have rain."

He showed the commissioners pictures of what the area looks like after it rains.

"I have no problem with the development," he said. "I just want it to stay A-5 because that’s what the man bought."

Fred Thomason, representing the Alliance of South Bryan Homeowner’s Associations, read a resolution from the group asking the commissioners to deny the rezoning request due to the environmental impact the project would have on the wetlands and because of the potential the land has to flood.

One resident spoke in favor of the development, telling the commissioners those collecting petitions against the project were misleading with their claims.

Before moving to deny the request, Commissioner Toby Roberts said he thought the plan developed by Jones and his associates was a good one, but said there were other issues that he didn’t think made the rezoning request appropriate.

"I think (Jones) has put together a good plan," Roberts said. "But it’s a very low piece of property and I can’t, in good judgment, support the project to be changed to R-1."

The commissioners voted unanimously to deny the request.

In other business:

-Commissioners approved a rezoning request from Ralph Cavender to put a multi-use development on a tract of land at the corner of Highways 80 and 280 in Blitchton. The development would include 160 single-family homes, 40 town homes and commercial, retail buildings, as well as a recreation area.

-Dylan Kohler of Prembroke was honored by the Commissioners and presented a proclamation from the county for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

-Pratt Lockwood, head of the county’s recreation department, updated the commissioners on the plans to gather bids for two soccer fields at the new recreation park. County Administrator Phil Jones said the plans for the drainage system in the new park are nearing completion.

-Jim Anderson, the county’s director of emergency services, presented three ordinances to the city that deal with a state of emergency in the county. The three ordinances deal with price gouging, curfews and allowing organizations to bring in trailers if need arises during or after an emergency. The ordinances will be addressed next month. Anderson also gave a short presentation about hurricane season and said the presentation will be presented to the public on Tuesday, April 24 in the commissioners’ meeting room in Pembroke at 7 p.m.

-Bill Ross of Ross and Associates in Atlanta addressed the commissioners about a study his company is doing to see if the county should implement impact fees. His presence at the meeting was to get the ball rolling in a process he said could be completed for the state’s review by August.

-Two representatives from the Richmond Hill Area Tennis Association addressed the commissioners and expressed a desire to be involved in the planning and developing of the tennis facility to be built at the new recreation park.

-The commissioners approved an annexation of land into the City of Richmond Hill, approved a change curb/gutter requirements at Brewton Place subdivision, approved the Tree Protection plan, denied a request for a tax refund, approved a modification to Highway 144 and appointed Betty Rosenthall to the Library Board.

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