Upset residents voice concerns over new development at the City Council meeting

upset residents

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It was a long night at the Columbus City Council meeting as resident and councilors discussed several items for more than three and a half hours, and one proposed development is stirring up controversy in the northeast side of town. 

"This just destroys the aesthetics," said Cecily Terry.

Residents living in the Heritage Place subdivision near Billings Road and Warm Springs Road on the northeast side of town expressed strong words to the council. 

The ordinance read for the first time asked the council to consider rezoning from neighborhood commercial to single family commercial, basically allowing the developer to build around 40 new homes.

Residents aren't just upset about the new homes destroying the beauty of the area, They're also mad about the added traffic.

The developer, Ben Billings, said his family has owned this land for decades and their original plan was to develop the property into a 50,000 square foot retail shopping center but they were approached by a home developer to consider changing their plans.  

"With the development that were doing up on Blackmon Road we just thought this might be the right thing to do to rezone to commercial off of Warm Springs Road up to the four lane and put this back in housing," Billings said. 

Billings, who also lives in this neighborhood, said if the rezoning doesn't pass his family will stick with their original plan of making the property into retail commercial space.

The council is set to vote on this matter in two weeks.

The council also discussed the parking concerns for residents living near Columbus High School who say they're fed up with their driveways being blocked.

This issue will be brought to the district, council members, and neighbors over the next month with a new ordinance set to be draft on September 22nd.

The South Lumpkin "Rails to Trails" Transportation Investment Act (TIA) will now be called to "Follow me trail."

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