Columbia County residents petition against new apartment complex

CSRA News

A Columbia County community is against an area that was accepted to be zoned back in 2002. Developers are planning to build a new apartment complex near residential homes and a middle school.

The Comission meeting was a full house as expected after homeowners told me that over 300 residents petitioned against the zoning of this area, and the community came to the commission meeting in numbers to say their peace.

Deputy County Administrator, Matt Schlachter, says, “we’re all over this development, making sure that if it goes through, it follows our rules and our procedures.”

That’s the response homeowners and parents of children at Stallings Island Middle School got when they petitioned against the plans to build nearly 300 apartments, and  600 parking spaces.

Homeowner, Allison Sheets, says, “we need to do the infrastructure study now to see what happens. We can’t build everything and say what do we do with it now?”

Residents say the zoning that allows the apartments to be built near Blackstone Camp Road was approved back in 2002, but now they say the developer’s plans include some construction outside that zone.

Homeowner, Reece Bridges, spoke to the Board of Commissioners and said, “to the board of commissioners, we would like to make this request, one, to deny the proposed request to build rental, multi-family apartments on Blackstone Camp Road.”

They also asked the commission to direct the developer to go back to the drawing board. They’d rather see homesites that they say are more in line with Columbia County’s overall vision for development.

“As it stands right now with the proposed development, I definitely wouldn’t let my kids walk to school. You’re going to ahve thousands of cars on the road, there is no cross walk, there is no crossing guard, there is no turn lane for cars, there is no stoplight,” says Sheets.

She also says that an apartment complex with so many people means there will be a need for more law enforcement. 

“…And these all come at a cost to columbia county taxpayers,” says Sheets.

Bridges said that there are a lot of retired couples in the area and with higher traffic, they will not be safe.

“Most of the time coming on Blackstone Camp Road to Furys Ferry, you can’t make a left turn. most people have to go through the wal mart parking lot,” says Bridges.

The county commissioners ended at a stand still, with the plans still in place. As the Planning and Zoning Committee have a lot to look into, many residents told NewsChannel 6 after that the meeting, that they were disappointed.

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