Residents speak out against rezoning request that was ultimately withdrawn

Columbia County residents indicated they are still skeptical of a proposed housing development after a real estate company withdrew its request to rezone about 200 acres from rural land to a planned unit development of nearly 170 homes.

 

Members of the county Planning Commission unanimously approved the withdraw request Thursday issued by Blanchard and Calhoun real estate company on the Appling Road project.

“We are here to request to withdraw our application,” said Thomas Blanchard Jr., at the meeting Thursday. “We met with property owners and are convinced we need more time to study this project and work with the commission and neighbors to come up with something if we can, that makes sense for all parties.”

But residents who live near the area were prepared to speak against the proposal.

Jerry Tiller, a 20-year resident of Dozier Road in Appling, said he is fully aware growth is coming to the area and isn’t against development, but is concerned about the density of the proposed subdivision.

“We think the quality of life we have in Appling, with just about everyone in Appling living on acreage, we don’t see why they should all of a sudden try to change it from agricultural residential to R-2 and mix everything else so close,” Tiller said after the application was withdrawn. “We don’t have any problems with subdivisions, but we sure would like for them to be bigger lots with nicer homes.”

Pamela Blanchard a 12-year resident of the Cottonwood neighborhood off Dozier Road, said she preferred the area remain rural.

”I don’t want them bringing suburban or all this concrete out to our community,” Blanchard said. “I want the land to be maintained rural. I want our rural area to stay the same. We are not against progress, but not at expense of destruction of the roads and making it all concrete and street lights.”

Blanchard said she plans to continue to follow the process and to make sure hers and other voices are heard.

“We will follow up and make sure that our commissioners understand we don’t want it, regardless of what they think,” Blanchard said. “As long as we have a voice and we can keep telling them that, maybe they’ll listen to us.”

The rezoning request was withdrawn without prejudice, meaning the request can be resubmitted.

Visit the youtube page for video of more resident concerns voiced after the meeting Thursday.

 

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