Apartment complex blocked

  • Follow Metro

Despite warnings that something worse might be built on adjacent land, Columbia County commissioners denied the rezoning of a 10-acre tract in Evans on Tuesday night, disallowing the construction of a luxury apartment complex there.

Executives with Meybohm Commercial Properties and Johnson Development Associates Inc. asked for the rezoning at the corner of Washington and Kroger roads from commercial to apartment-residential uses. The land neighbors 20 acres already zoned for apartment uses, according to county records.

Developers had planned to combine the acreage for the luxury apartments. The commission voted 3-1 to deny the request, with Commissioner Ron Thigpen as the sole dissenter. Commissioner Diane Ford was absent.

Jim Berardinelli, the director of real estate for Spartanburg, S.C.-based Johnson Development Associates, said his company intended to build an upscale apartment complex targeted to young professionals at an average cost of $900 per month per apartment in a 312-unit complex.

The complex would have included a "resort-style" swimming pool, a mixed-use clubhouse, a fitness center, an Internet cafe, a jogging trail, play areas and a $500,000 landscaping package inside a gated community, Mr. Berardinelli said.

Now, area residents could be neighbored by a substandard apartment complex created by developers heeding only to the minimum standards of construction on the 20 acres already zoned for apartments, warned Dennis Trotter, of Meybohm.

Because the zoning of the 20 acres next to Heritage Hills subdivision is already in place, commissioners can do little to prevent a different developer from constructing less-desirable apartments there, Mr. Thigpen said.

"When we look back two years from now ... we potentially have done a disservice to all these folks represented here tonight," he said.

The land previously had been zoned as apartment-residential. It was rezoned for commercial uses in mid-2007 for a Tractor Supply store. Later, store executives decided to remain at their current location on Bobby Jones Expressway.

During a recent Columbia County Planning Commission meeting, where the rezoning was recommended for approval, Mr. Berardinelli said his company would not build if they were limited to 20 acres.

A full 30 acres is needed to build something other than subsidized housing on the property, he said.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (28) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
JH1
0
Points
JH1 01/16/08 - 06:11 am
0
0
Mr. Thigpen is correct. You

Mr. Thigpen is correct. You will end up with apartments, you had the option to select which type. That option is now gone and the decision will now be made for you.

mastersmoney
0
Points
mastersmoney 01/16/08 - 09:13 am
0
0
I think section 8 housing

I think section 8 housing would be wonderful. I mean, how beautiful would it be to see 5 ugly colored brick buildings full of very expensive cars, flat screen tv's and lots of bling!!! Vote yes to public housing, I will.

AMG21
0
Points
AMG21 01/16/08 - 09:28 am
0
0
The residents of Heritage

The residents of Heritage Hill should be furious with their commissioners. Their fate is now sealed to have junk apartment buildings in their backyard, rather that luxury ones further away.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 01/16/08 - 10:28 am
0
0
Columbia County is the place

Columbia County is the place to be, Strip Mall shopping is the thing for me, Greedy Government spreading out so far and wide, Please Give me Lincoln Co. to abide.

GuyIncognito
1
Points
GuyIncognito 01/16/08 - 10:49 am
0
0
Is that a haiku?

Is that a haiku?

read this
1
Points
read this 01/16/08 - 10:56 am
0
0
Better watch out Hooterville.

Better watch out Hooterville. Washington Road goes through your town too.

pja5529
1869
Points
pja5529 01/16/08 - 11:11 am
0
0
The residents were the ones

The residents were the ones who wanted the commsssioners to vote that way. A couple of months ago some residents got together and said they didn't want ANY apartment complexes in Columbia county because of the type of people who live there and they didn't want those kids from lower income homes coming to their school. There are some nice luxury apartment complexes in Augusta that are quiet and nice. The rent at that complex would have probably been more than a lot of people's mortgates in Columbia County.

dbc
14
Points
dbc 01/16/08 - 11:17 am
0
0
Shame on the commissioners.

Shame on the commissioners. Now what will be put there? And, tell me please exactly why they voted no . . .

read this
1
Points
read this 01/16/08 - 11:55 am
0
0
Either they were listening to

Either they were listening to citizen complaints or they were protecting the other eight apartment zoned properties. Now which do you think happened.

TrulyBlessed
0
Points
TrulyBlessed 01/16/08 - 12:25 pm
0
0
We welcome young, single

We welcome young, single folks with disposable income to Richmond County. They can contribute to a revitalized downtown and enjoy life without traffic and strip malls, then hopefully become property owners here in Richmond as they settle down. Thanks, Columbia County!

bill3527
0
Points
bill3527 01/16/08 - 01:45 pm
0
0
Ron Thigpen's comments last

Ron Thigpen's comments last night hit the nail on its head! Too bad the other commissioners ignored the facts and the consequences of an outdated political policy to exclude a certain socio-economic group from Columbia County.

tl-bro
155
Points
tl-bro 01/16/08 - 03:30 pm
0
0
One can only hope that when

One can only hope that when the low-rent vinyl apartments are built, the developer will deem it appropriate to name them "Mercer-Cross Crossing" and maybe even erect a plaque in honor of those commissioners who made it all possible.

MartinezWest Augusta
2
Points
MartinezWest Augusta 01/16/08 - 04:30 pm
0
0
This is going to be funny.

This is going to be funny. Could have had 900$ per month apartments. Which were upscale. Now you will have 300 to 400 per month or even lower. Haha. Columbia county is taking away the headlines this year away from richmond county. This is what happens when you are stuck in suburbia. You are afraid of everything, and lock your mind into a box. Because you only watch the news. And the news plays you like a puppet on a string. There a tons of nice apartment complexes around augusta. That are either gated or cost alot or proably both. Now because you are stuck in you suburbia way of thinking. And you are afraid of everything. You will have low- class apartments. Thats what happens when the media runs the way you think.

MartinezWest Augusta
2
Points
MartinezWest Augusta 01/16/08 - 04:31 pm
0
0
I think some type of cheap

I think some type of cheap housing will occupy this now. Alot of trailer trash in coming to columbia county in the future.

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 01/16/08 - 07:38 pm
0
0
AAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

AAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! And I thought Richmond County was stupid...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Makes you wonder where these people got their education.

AMG21
0
Points
AMG21 01/16/08 - 08:12 pm
0
0
The new complex should be

The new complex should be named the Mercer-Cross Double Cross-ing! What a novel idea...let's shut out a luxury complex because "we can", and forget the fact that a subsidized complex could be waiting in the wings on the 20 acress next to Heritage Hill.

MartinezWest Augusta
2
Points
MartinezWest Augusta 01/16/08 - 08:25 pm
0
0
I wonder what school they

I wonder what school they will go to. This is to far to be zoned for harlem or grovetown high. Can you say greenbrier, evans, and lakeside. I don't understand why anybody would think 900 dollars a month for a apartment would be trouble. And the apartments were going to be gated at that. The media runs the way people think in the suburbs. Nothing more than puppets on a string. Now you have subsidized housing. Watch how many white people move out of columbia county. Cause you can expect once one lower class apartments are built. More will follow. I think the apartments will be purchase by whites or hispanics mostly. Then whites will complain that columiba county is turning into mexico. Like gainesville outside atlanta.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 01/17/08 - 08:21 am
0
0
Georgia North of I-85 has

Georgia North of I-85 has already voted to become part of Mexico. There is a "chicken factory" bus that runs up and down the interstate from Texas to Georgia.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 01/17/08 - 09:55 am
0
0
A section 8 family from GM

A section 8 family from GM just moved in across from my office. Now there are 8 guys walking abreast up and down the street and trampling down the hedge in the owners yard. Georgia Power was over there yesterday because they tried to cut into the power before the meter. Police came and had them all laying on the ground. What a way to start the week. Maybe they could hurry up and build the apartments in Columbia County and take some of these people from Richmond County. We need less of them.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/08 - 10:16 am
0
0
Why don't they build a hotel.

Why don't they build a hotel. They can call it "The Stick It Up Your Inn". Maybe a Sticky Fingers will open next door.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/08 - 10:18 am
0
0
Wow Denali, Too bad they

Wow Denali, Too bad they didn't partially succeed and fry themselves. Kharma or justice served.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 01/17/08 - 10:30 am
0
0
Would have been justice

Would have been justice served or "justus served".

jshep67
0
Points
jshep67 01/17/08 - 11:42 am
0
0
didn't you know those thugs

didn't you know those thugs have EVERY RIGHT to free electricity? Don't you know how RACIST you are for PAYING for utilities?

KSL
129549
Points
KSL 01/17/08 - 11:56 am
0
0
Don't you know! This was the

Don't you know! This was the one of the few threads I didn't read yesterday and it was the best one. Would have missed it except for an email from a friend. Thanks, Scooby.

dani
12
Points
dani 01/17/08 - 12:16 pm
0
0
denali..Are you serious. My

denali..Are you serious. My goodness...These folks are getting financial help? What on earth is happening to this country. Who is running the asylum? Is there no honest people in the local government that this can be reported to?

Riverman1
83978
Points
Riverman1 01/17/08 - 01:56 pm
0
0
The residents wanted the

The residents wanted the Commission to vote against the apartments because they also intend to fight the next attempt to build apartments on the other 20 acres whether it is zoned for them or not. They will come up with something.

AMG21
0
Points
AMG21 01/17/08 - 02:53 pm
0
0
Riverman1: All a junk

Riverman1: All a junk apartment developer has to do is design a site plan and building plan that meet the minimun standards of the development code and the permits will be issued....no public hearings will be required whatsoever. You have no way to stop the development of the 20 acres. The residents missed their opportunity on Tuesday night to have an attractive development away from Heritage Hills. They are the real losers. I think they should call the new junk complex the Mercer-Cross Double Cross-ing

KSL
129549
Points
KSL 01/17/08 - 03:33 pm
0
0
AMG21, you are so right. They

AMG21, you are so right. They cannot stop apartments where the zoning is for apartments as long as the developers meet all the minimum requirements. The only way they can stop it now is to purchase the land and hold on to it as green-space. And since it is zoned for apartments with the greater potential for return on the investment in site improvements, ie streets and utilities, the price for the land would be way more expensive than the price of land for single family homes. As for those fighting this development, with twenty acres right next to them zoned for apartments, what on earth were they thinking? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs