From The Augusta Chronicle:
Columbia County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to temporarily halt certain types of dense developments for six months while officials consider revisions to zoning ordinances.
A motion to place a six-month moratorium on rezoning properties to the “R-3, R-3A, T-R, or RCO districts, or to request residential lot sizes below 10,000 square feet within Planned Unit Developments,” passed 4-0. Commissioner Trey Allen was absent from the meeting because he was in Atlanta being sworn in to a seat on the state Board of Education.
Several officials said there was a concern that the number of applications for dense residential developments with small lots had been increasing in recent months, which can lead to strain on infrastructure and roads.
“It’s just about all we are getting now,” county Administrator Scott Johnson said of the rezoning requests.
Commissioner Bill Morris said he was voting for the moratorium because of the potential effect such developments could have on school overcrowding, citing the countywide school rezoning plan that was recently implemented to deal with booming growth. Morris said he appreciated concerns from builders and developers whose plans might be delayed, but said there were bigger concerns in guiding the county’s future.
“It’s a quality of life issue,” he said.
Before voting to approve the motion, Commissioner Doug Duncan said he was troubled by anything that looked like more government regulation that could harm growth, but he was willing to consider a six-month halt to such rezoning if the county could come up with a better set of rules.
“Frankly, it concerns me because it seems to be more government regulation,” he said. “I don’t take this lightly.”
Commissioner Mack Taylor said the six-month period is more than enough time to revise the ordinances and that developers concerns will be taken into account because the county’s new Development Advisory Board will be involved in the process.