WARNER ROBINS -- Warner Robins City Council discussed development on Russell Parkway during Thursdays precouncil meeting, where the members also reviewed a purchasing order for a study related to the upcoming wastewater treatment plant expansion.
Jesse Fountain, a former city community development director who now works as a consultant, explained that City Council originally implemented a restrictive overlay on the then-new extension of Russell Parkway in 2005 as an effort to control congestion in the area.
Mayor and council didnt want another Watson Boulevard, Fountain told council Thursday.
The overlay ordinance includes greenery and space requirements, Councilman Mike Brashear said.
Brashear said he brought the subject for discussion because the question of whether the overlay has stunted growth between Houston Lake Road and Interstate 75 has been on the table for years, but no action has been taken.
Plus, its in my post -- in Post 4 -- so its a topic I said Id pick up, he said.
Fountain told council he could not pin the lack of development in the area on the overlay because other factors, such as the recession, could have contributed. He added that big-box stores would probably not be interested at this point because they already have locations along Ga. 96 and Watson Boulevard.
Fountain said he and City Attorney Jim Elliott have been reviewing the overlay ordinance for about six months in response to petitions against the restrictions.
Brashear said the draft Fountain and Elliott have provided still needs to be refined for clarity, and the topic wont come before council for an official vote for a while. First, the Planning and Zoning committee must review the overlay and solicit public input.
Meanwhile, council will vote Monday on a nearly $60,000 payment to Constantine Engineering for a study to measure pollutants that industrial businesses release into the citys wastewater system.
Utilities Director Montie Walters said the study is needed in preparation for the impending wastewater treatment plant expansion, which officials have said will upgrade the facilitys capacity and sanitation levels.
Walters said the city can limit the pollutants industrial properties contribute to the system but not residential. Therefore, the city needs to know how much pollutants industrial properties currently put into the system.
Other purchasing orders include annual contract renewals and a reimbursement to the Houston County Commission for gas utilities associated with the Corder Road widening project.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.