Columbia County hires lawyer to review Magnolia Trace

Columbia County officials have hired an attorney for help in finding a way to halt construction of a “low-income” development in Martinez.

Patrick O’Connor, with the Oliver Maner firm in Savannah, Ga., was hired Friday afternoon to look into the legality of stopping construction of Magnolia Trace on Old Ferry Road, County Administrator Scott Johnson said in an e-mail.

After hearing from dozens of angry residents near Magnolia Trace at Tuesday’s county commission meeting, officials voted to hire a lawyer to find legal grounds that could “interrupt” construction of the 50 homes planed in the “affordable housing” project.

O’Connor has “extensive experience” with fair housing laws and issues pertaining to them, Johnson said.

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