Developer decides to rework mixed-use plan

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The Columbia County Planning Commission on Thursday tabled a large rezoning request near a proposed high school, but approved a second large development near a new middle school.

The zoning board unanimously voted to table Hidden Creek, a proposed 350-acre mixed-use commercial and residential development, outside Grovetown. Developer Great Water Homes LLC is seeking a planned unit development zoning to build more than 800 detached houses, town homes and apartments, an "active-adult" retirement center and a medical office complex.

The proposed site would surround the fifth Columbia County high school near the intersection of Chamblin and Baker Place roads.

Before the vote to table the issue, Planning Commission Vice Chairman Brett McGuire said the density of the Hidden Creek development was "totally out of character for this section of the county.''

He initially made a motion to disapprove the development before Chad Vickers, a representative of Great Water Homes LLC, agreed to revisit the plan. The request, which had no other public opposition, will be heard again at the Feb. 1 Planning Commission meeting.

In other business, planning commissioners unanimously approved a request to rezone 94 acres on Blackstone Camp Road that will be included in Blanchard and Calhoun's River Island Settlement neighborhood adjacent to a new middle school. Two nearby residents of the proposed site spoke in opposition, expressing concerns about the density of the development and wanting to preserve the character of the area.

Plans for the River Island addition call for 276 detached houses and town homes. The River Island tract will go to the county commission for final approval Feb. 8.

Reach J. Scott Trubey at 706-868-1222, ext. 109, or jeffery.trubey@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT:

The Hidden Creek development proposal will be heard by planning commissioners at their Feb. 1 meeting. The River Island Settlement rezoning request will go to the county commission for final approval Feb. 8.


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