Planning board votes no to bus service facility near Harlem

Columbia County planning commissioners put the brakes on bringing a motor coach maintenance shop behind Pumpkin Center near Harlem.


Al Harris, the owner of Horizon Motor Coach in Harlem, sought a rezoning for five acres near Wrightsboro and Appling Harlem roads for a motor coach office and maintenance yard on part of a 40-acre parcel.

Originally, the request was to change the residential-agricultural property to general industrial. After the county’s planning staff advised against that rezoning, Harris asked to rezone the land to special district.

During the meeting, the site of the facility also moved from the back of the 40-acre lot to the front, directly behind Pumpkin Center. An entrance road would be connected to Wrightsboro Road.

After listening to neighboring residents voice concerns, the planning commission recommended against the rezoning. They agreed that signs advertising the proposed location should be placed on the property before another rezoning hearing.

“I think there are a lot of legitimate concerns,” planning commissioner Gary Richardson said.

Harris, who wanted to table the item, said it was important for him to build near Interstate 20.

“We really thought this was a great location,” he said.

Several residents living in the Lamkin Spring subdivision, which is near the property, disagreed.

“I think with more traffic there, we’re going to create more of a jumble than we’ve already got,” Kenneth Roland said.