Growth of the Bryan County communities in an inevitability, and quite frankly has already pushed the limits of the infrastructure of the Richmond Hill Community. Explosive growth has created the need to build more schools and reconsideration of the current traffic patterns; and its accelerated rate has created trying times for the area.
In North Bryan County, if we are not careful we will see this same exponential burst of population at a rate that our community cannot handle. I recently attending a Zoning and Planning Commissioners meeting to oppose the Plum Creek Development and Mill Creek Development proposals, not because I do not want to see more hard working families join the ranks of our sleepy town, but because I want to see this growth done in a responsible and conscientious manner. I want to ensure our Commissioners work to maintain the integrity of what makes Ellabell, Black Creek, and Pembroke the desirable small towns that they are.
The Plum Creek proposal includes approximately 248 proposed homes off of Carlos Cowart Road and Mill Creek is approximately 78 lots located on Wilma Edwards Road in the Ellabell/Black Creek areas. Members of the community voiced concerns regarding incapacity of our schools and questioned the area’s ability to handle increased traffic.
Thankfully, the board opted to table the issue until more information could be provided by the applicant (Beacon Builders) regarding the impact of these developments. However, this will come to a vote, and I suspect that it will pass despite our reservations.
I would plead to the Commissioners, and all those involved, that when approving this development, and those to come, to establish specific guidelines regarding this type of growth. Enforce realistic timelines not to exceed too many homes per year, stipulate lot sizes large enough so that homes are not built one on top of the other, encourage green spaces and ensure there is no infringement on our agricultural neighbors.
Although, some may argue the county would be over-stepping their bounds on dictating how one may use their property, I would counter that it would relate like a covenants that many of the builders put in place when establishing their HOAs for these homes. As a side note, I would also like to suggest stricter enforcement of inspections on the property during the building phase to truly ensure safe and quality homes are being constructed.
North Bryan County does not want to become the next Richmond Hill. From the many opinions I have heard, we want to maintain our country roots and agricultural flavor. It is this reason that many of us from “away” have relocated to make North Bryan County our home. I don’t want to deny others this same opportunity but let us do it in a way that isconsistent with our community values. Let us address concerns of school over-crowding before they become crowded. Let us complete road repairs, widenings, and traffic circles prior to them becoming a necessity versus a good idea. I implore the other members of our community to also voice their opinions to the Commissioners, whether in favor or against, and for the Commissioners to make decisions in the best interest of their constituents.
Thank you for your time.
Bethany E. Butler Prater, Black Creek, GA