Over objections of residential neighbors, Columbia County’s Planning Commission agreed Thursday to rezone a dormant Martinez office plaza for townhomes.
The 3.25-acre site on Furys Ferry Road at Old Ferry Road was developed in 2008 as an office park, laid out with parking lots, curbs and landscaping. No offices have been built there, and last year First Bank seized the land through foreclosure.
Commissioners unanimously agreed to allow Joe H. Todd, the president of JHT Construction of Evans, to turn the site into 25 single-family, brick townhomes, with a minimum of 1,400 square feet per unit.
“The market has spoken pretty loudly that (offices) are not a good fit for this area,” Todd said. If county commissioners give final approval, he said he expects construction to begin by the end of summer.
About a dozen residents of the adjacent Oak Brook subdivision attended the meeting, and several spoke in opposition to the project. Most said the anticipated $120,000-per-unit sale price of the townhomes would hurt the values of their homes, which they put in the $160,000 range.
“I’m just using common sense,” said Oak Brook resident Scott Kirchhoff. “Common sense says if you put those behind these houses, with a $40,000 difference, it’s not going to make the value of our homes go up.”