A couple of rezoning matters are on the agenda for the Statesboro City Council to decide Tuesday. But the one that will take up a lot of attention is a request to rezone property on Fair Road at Herty drive across from the Georgia Southern campus from residential to commercial retail to allow for the construction of a Parkers convenience store and gas station.
Residents in several surrounding neighborhoods have expressed strong opposition to the request fearing it would be the beginning of commercial encroachment. Owners of the property in question say this is the only way they will be able to sell the property considering past failures to do so. And attorneys for Parkers say if the council declines their request they will likely sue.
If the council goes along with a document released Thursday as part of their regular meeting packet it could very well end up in court. Twice in the past the council put off a vote until Tuesday to allow the city attorney to look into the matter.
In essence the document details why the property should remain residential and states “The current R-15 zoning continues to allow the owners the benefits of a robust student housing market while maintaining the character, integrity and property values of a well- established residential neighborhood. As such, the requests to amend the zoning map.…are hereby DENIED.”
City attorney Alvin Leaphart said when asked Friday, a majority of the councilmen indicated they “are leaning toward” or plan to reject the rezoning requests.