Two rezoning requests involving a 34-acre parcel and a 5-acre parcel along Ebenezer Road and Davis Road resulted in a 2-2 vote at the May 10 meeting of the Fayette County Commission.
Above, members of the Fayette County Commission at the May 10 meeting included, from left, commissioners Chuck Oddo, Steve Brown, Randy Ognio and Charles Rousseau. Chairman Eric Maxwell also attended the meeting. Photo/Ben Nelms.
Both parcels requested zoning to be changed from AR (agricultural residential) to R-70 which would allow for 2-acre lots.
Representing the Godby family, Griffin attorney Steven L. Jones noted that the projects had come before the board in 2016 and had been denied on a 2-3 vote, even though several other nearby parcels had received R-70 zoning, both before and after Godby’s 2016 request.
Jones noted that the application at the time of the rezoning request was in compliance with the county’s Comprehensive Plan.
A half-dozen people at the May 10 meeting spoke against the request while a show of hands requested by the family indicated 30-40 people in attendance supporting the request.
A motion by Commissioner Chuck Oddo on each separate request to approve the rezoning was offset on a 2-2 vote, with Oddo and Commissioner Charles Rousseau in favor and commissioners Randy Ognio and Steve Brown opposed.
A second round of motions to deny the rezonings also resulted in a split vote, with Brown and Ognio in favor and Rousseau and Oddo opposed.
Though present at the meeting, Chairman Eric Maxwell recused himself and did not participate in the agenda presentation or vote.
The result is that the property retains its current AR zoning.
Jones during his presentation noted that the current proposals had been made and denied in 2016, at the same meeting where a much larger tract had also been denied for rezoning.
That case went to Fayette County Superior Court. An April 11 ruling by Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards regarding the 212-acre residential rezoning request noted that the rezoning application is “remanded to the Fayette County Board of Commissioners for a rehearing. The county will reevaluate the application under the Comprehensive Plan in effect in 2016 when the application was denied. The court will retain jurisdiction of this matter until the Board of Commissioners has voted upon the application. At that point, this order shall become final. However, if plaintiff remains convinced that the new decision is also unconstitutional, then it may reappear before the court via application for contempt.”