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Revised zoning application approved for Laney-Walker area

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The revised application for an overlay zoning district covering a section of Laney-Walker neighborhood was approved Wednesday by the Augusta Planning Commission after months of controversy.

Neighborhood opposition to the new document was sparse at the commission meeting, unlike past meetings that drew crowds of concerned residents.

The overlay application still needs final approval from the Augusta Commission, which could consider it Jan. 17.

The application submitted by APD Urban Planning and Management, the city’s consulting firm for revitalization in the Laney-Walker neighborhood, was rewritten procedural issues that began when residents weren’t mailed the required notifications.

The overlay would place special provisions on land use but retain the underlying base zoning. Concerned residents feared the overlay applied strict regulations to the entire Laney-Walker neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the Augusta Commission withdrew without prejudice the original application, which allowed APD to resubmit an application without a required waiting period.

William Fennoy, the incoming president for the Laney-Walker Neighborhood Association, told the planning commission he supports the revised application after procedural issues were corrected.

“I think it’s going to keep a lot of undesirable elements out of the neighborhood,” he said. “I think it’s going to improve the quality of life for the people who live in the neighborhood.”

The new application specifies that the overlay is for a development area known as “W4,” which 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.

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