By Stephanie Johns

Staff Writer

Members of the Morgan County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of changes to an existing Planned Residential District (PRD) in Madison that includes all properties in Town Walk Circle.

Commissioner Scott Campbell, who serves on the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Depot Committee, recused himself.

City Planner Bryce Jaeck explained that there have been three houses built and are occupied in this PRD. He noted that the changes to this PRD include modification of boundaries, density and type of units.

Property owner Sandy Sanford said the modified plan calls for 1,100 to 1,200 square-foot flats, or duplexes, as well as cottages and apartments.

Shandon Land, chair of the DDA, shared a presentation regarding that group’s plans for improving the area near Sanford’s property. Slides shared showed abandoned buildings, vacant lots, vandalism and littering.

During her presentation she said that the relocation of a historic railroad depot into a portion of Sanford’s property had been “identified as a catalyst for redevelopment of that area.”

Land also shared detailed concept plans of the area around and including Sanford’s property.

She said the project was “challenging; a lot of work” but it had the opportunity to become “a vibrant residential area.”

Commissioner Joe Cardwell said, “It looks like good cooperation among these groups.”

Commissioners voted to recommend the changes to the PRD; some members of the audience clapped.

In other news: Planners voted unanimously to recommend approval of an addition for Lake Oconee Baptist Church on Reids Ferry Road in Buckhead;

And this was long-time commission member John McCarthy’s last meeting; he has resigned from the commission.