The Evans Town Center Overlay District plan appears impressive on paper. Apparently the county has done this to placate us into feeling that all is well.
But actions of Columbia County, specifically the Planning and Zoning Department, betray us.
Recent examples of this are the present building sites for Hardee's and Dunkin' Donut across from the Kroger store on Washington Road. The ETCOD plan addresses the importance to minimize the removal of trees, yet these sites were basically clear-cut of all trees.
Wal-Mart is considering building on the 30.6 acres behind my house. At first I could not believe that this would be with the ETCOD plan, but the county commissioners tell us that the large landowners may sell to the highest bidder, even though this is not what they had imagined being built on this site. It was also brought to my attention that Riverwatch Parkway is now proposed to intersect at Bel Air and Industrial Boulevard.
Since this would provide the same traffic as on Bobby Jones Expressway for Wal-Mart, it now makes sense why it, as well as other businesses are getting into the area.
Is this what the residents of Evans want? Is this the environment they envisioned, or was it the residential environment that was "sold" to us by the initial developers and builders when we purchased our homes?
Time is quickly running out for the quality of life we expected by moving to Evans. Just a few of us cannot be effective against the special interests that apparently affect the judgment of our county commissioners.
The more residents who make their feelings known about this unrestricted growth, the better chance we have to keep Evans a beautiful, livable and enjoyable place to live.
Anthony Gancasz, Evans