Houston & Peach

Rezoning opponents pack Perry council meeting

Chad Bryant of Ocmulgee Inc. speaks to Perry City Council on Tuesday in favor of the annexation and rezoning of a 107-acre tract planned for a subdivision. Most of the audience was opposed.
Chad Bryant of Ocmulgee Inc. speaks to Perry City Council on Tuesday in favor of the annexation and rezoning of a 107-acre tract planned for a subdivision. Most of the audience was opposed. wcrenshaw@macon.com

A change in a controversial annexation and rezoning request did not sway those opposed to it.

About 50 people packed into the Perry City Council chamber Tuesday for a public hearing on a request for Perry to annex and rezone 107 acres at the corner of Danny Carpenter Drive and Sandefur Road. The rezoning request asked for the property to be rezoned from R-1 to R-2, which would have allowed 238 homes to be built there rather than the 200 the current zoning would allow.

Much of the discussion in the hearing centered on the 38-home difference in the two zonings.

The only person speaking in favor of the request was Chad Bryant, of Ocmulgee Inc., the design company for the developer. He argued that 38 homes is not enough of a difference to oppose the request.

Residents who live around the property disagreed, arguing that the additional homes would mean significantly more daily traffic in the area.

“You can say that R-2 zoning is not that different from R-1, but it is different and any difference that results in a lowering of property values in one area affects the property values contiguous,” said Edward Urbansky, who lives near the tract.

Nearly all of the crowd was opposed to the request, even though the developer dropped a provision to have two acres rezoned light commercial to allow a day care center. That part of the request had been a focus of the objections along with the density of the subdivision.

The developer, SKI Development, also agreed to only have single-family homes. The R-2 zoning could have allowed duplexes.

But none of that swayed the opponents and many objected that the plans had changed from what the Perry Planning Commission considered. The commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of the application. The Houston County Commission also voted to not concur, which means that even if the city approves it, an arbitration would have to be held to settle the county’s objections.

The council on Tuesday held the public hearing and a first reading of the ordinance that would approve the request. It will be voted on at the next meeting to be held May 16.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1

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