By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

The Board of the Planning and Development Commission voted to unanimously reelect Brian Lehman as chairman, Faye Craft, as vice-chairman, and Tara Cooner as secretary.

After the elections, Chuck Jarrell presented the facts surrounding an application for rezoning three Agricultural District (AG) properties to Agricultural Residential District (AR) properties to the board. Jenny Cash, owner of one of the properties located on Perryman Road, requested rezoning so her property and the property of her neighboring family members could be split into a smaller plot to create a separate plot to be given to her daughter to build a house upon.

“My husband receives disability and we are getting older. We want to leave our children the property anyway. We just want to put another home on the property for our daughter and her three children,” explained Cash to the commission.

But rezoning the properties posed potential ramifications that roused opposition from local neighbors. “We received several phone calls from neighbors concerned about increased traffic and the number of homes that could be built if rezoning goes through,” explained Jarrell. Nearby Neighbor Angie Sanders attended the planning session to voice her concerns.

“I don’t feel it is in the best interest of the area to have another property built on such a narrow plot. My concern is that, me being right next door and with the economy being so bad in recent years, that this will devalue our property even more,” said Sanders.

Sanders was also concerned about increased travel on the gravel road connecting the surrounding properties. “It’s already traveled on too much,”said Sanders. “I also believe that having properties stacked beside each other so close will decrease our property values and turn the property into a mobile-home park if they keep adding more homes on such a narrow strip of land,” she added.

Another neighbor, Steve Harrington, voiced similar concerns about increased road usage. After closing public commentary, the board discussed the matter and possible alternatives other than rezoning. They held a vote and ultimately decided to recommend to deny Cash’s application for rezoning.

“Rezoning is a big deal. Even families don’t last for ever, and property eventually has to be disposed of, which brings about all kinds of other questions,” explained John McMahon, board member of the planning commission. According to Jarrell, the board did not feel that the dimensions of the lots were the proper size and the layout of the lots were not suitable for rezoning.

The board then voted to recommend approval request by Dennis Stewart for a picnic area to be built on the site of Grace Bible Church in Buckhead. The board also voted to recommend a text amendment that will make a limited allowance for the use of electronic signs for gas stations in Morgan County.