Columbia County Planning Commission will wait until next month to decide whether 1.21 acres at the entrance Silver Lake subdivision will be zoned for professional use.
The land, owned by local real estate agent Thad Gray, is one of the last undeveloped pieces of the 28-year-old subdivision off Washington Road and has commercial property on two sides.
"The property owner is coming forward in an effort to compromise (with subdivision residents) to get the professional zoning," said attorney Roy Tritt, who represented Mr. Gray during the Thursday night planning commission meeting. Mr. Gray asked earlier this year to zone the land for commercial use.
The property is currently zoned for residential use, which is fine with Silver Lake residents.
"We were here fighting this in January, and we have not changed our position on this at all," said Mark Fryer, who represented the residents. "Our main concern is that this lot is fairly deep into our subdivision. It comes 300 feet into our community."
Planning commissioners agreed to table the request until their Aug. 6 meeting while county attorney Doug Batchelor studies the subdivision's covenant. Silver Lake residents contend the covenant, which was enacted in 1970, protects the land through 2005. Mr. Tritt, however, said that the covenant ran out in 1990 and that it is time for the land to be put to another use.
"When this subdivision was built, people had to go to the old A&P in Richmond County to get their groceries," he said.
In other business, commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning of 3.37 acres on North Belair Road for general commercial use. The land was divided between light industrial and general commercial zoning.
Under the approval, any development of the property must conform to the Evans Town Center Urban Design Plan. Planners hope to have county ordinances shaped to reflect the design by November.
The town center would encompass a 1.5-mile radius around the intersection of Belair and Washington roads, which is considered by officials as the county's main intersection in Evans.
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