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Revised zoning application awaits removal of original version

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A proposed special zoning district in the Laney-Walker neighborhood could hit another bump after weeks of efforts to correct problems.

The applicant, APD Urban Planning and Management, rewrote the application following procedural issues and concern from some residents, but the original one is still up for vote at Tuesday’s Augusta Commission meeting.

George Patty, the director of the county planning department, said he will ask the commission to withdraw the original application and waive the one-year waiting period required before a new application can be reviewed.

The revised application is part of Wednesday’s planning commission agenda but cannot come up for vote without the withdrawal, Patty said.

“If they vote on the old one, obviously we can’t bring the new one forward,” he said on Friday.

Opposition to the overlay began in October when residents weren’t mailed notifications required for the application process.

Confusion developed when concerned residents feared the overlay applied strict-regulations to the entire Laney-Walker neighborhood.

The new application specifies that the overlay is for a development area known as “W4” that covers only properties in the 1400 block of Wrightsboro Road and portions of Augusta Avenue; R.A. Dent Boulevard; and Kingston, Brown, Holley and McCauley streets.

The procedural issues that necessitated a revised application have been addressed, Patty said. The legal advertisement and required notices were reissued.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 01/02/12 - 12:16 pm
I have a question: Since

I have a question: Since Augusta has a long and storied tradition of spot zoning, why don't they just use spot zoning in Laney-Walker and not waste time and money on this "overlay" charade?

The area in question is now zoned residential. But if the neighbors want a dry cleaner business on their street, just have the commission zone that parcel commercial. It has been done many, many times before.

Lori Davis
Lori Davis 01/02/12 - 01:32 pm
Little Lamb, Then the few

Little Lamb, Then the few who are poised to make the big bucks off this project will not be able to. Your idea is a very good one but would throw a monkey wrench into the whole plan.

mike71345 01/02/12 - 01:53 pm
LL, it may be that the object

LL, it may be that the object in the overlay is to bypass the public hearings and to allow the Planning Department to make changes behind closed doors. That is, if the head of the Planning Dept didn't misspeak at the November hearing on this issue when he said this–
"Any new uses that are not on the list above would be required to go through a rezoning application process even if the base zoning would allow it on a property not located within the Overlay designation. What is listed above would have the ability for the staff to approve without a hearing."
The area is mostly single-family right now. If he did mean what he said, then that represents a huge change for the zoning in the neighborhood, a change the would set up a system extremely vulnerable to abuse–the upcoming vote IS the public hearing for any number of future zoning changes.

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